Javaris Crittenton arrested by FBI at California airport

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The FBI arrested former NBA player Javaris Crittenton at a southern California airport Monday night when he checked in for a flight to Atlanta.

The Atlanta office of the FBI had obtained a federal arrest warrant for Crittenton, who was charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. He is being sought in connection with the shooting Aug. 19 of Julian Jones, a 22-year-old mother of four in Atlanta. She was struck by bullets apparently intended for someone in a group she was with, Keith Meadows of the Atlanta Police Dept. said. In the group was a man Crittenton believed had stolen jewelry from him in April, police said.

He was not fleeing,” attorney Eldridge Suggs told the Los Angeles NBC affiliate Tuesday morning. “He came to LA to work out, to rehab. His second home is LA. He bought that [one-way] ticket weeks prior to even knowing about the killing. He should not have his career destroyed.”

Brad Steel, a lawyer for Crittenton, had told the Atlanta Journal Constitution earlier Monday that Crittenton would return to Georgia on the red-eye and surrender to authorities. The FBI intervened before he could board the flight from John Wayne Airport.

“Mr. Crittenton wants to clear his name,” Steel said. “He's innocent of the charges.”

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After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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