Javaris Crittenton was released on a $230,000 bond on Tuesday during a preliminary hearing for his murder case in Atlanta. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Karen Smith Woodson required the former Wizards guard to wear an ankle monitor until the case is tried on Oct. 25. Crittenton has been charged with murder in the drive-by shooting of 22-year-old Julian Jones in August.
Crittenton’s family, friends, agent Mark Bartelstein and his former college coach Paul Hewitt provided character testimony on his behalf and disputed that he was responsible for the crime. Hewitt, who coached Crittenton at Georgia Tech and recently became head coach at George Mason, co-signed the bond with several others. During the hearing, Crittenton’s attorney, Brian Steel, said police don’t have enough evidence to link Crittenton to the shooting, which occurred on Aug. 19.
The Associated Press is reporting that police haven’t located blood or DNA evidence and Crittenton’s fingerprints weren’t found in the black SUV he rented hours before the shooting occurred. Police said witnesses placed Crittenton at the scene and allege Crittenton was seeking retaliation for getting robbed of $50,000 worth of jewelry in April.
Crittenton turned himself in to authorities in Los Angeles, where he was to visit his college girlfriend Mia Fields on what Fields said was a long-planned trip to celebrate her birthday. She testified that Crittenton was stunned to find out that he was a suspect for the killing. ‘’He looked shocked, paralyzed and in fear,’’ Fields said from the courtroom stand. “He said, ‘I didn’t do this and I can’t believe they are blaming me for this.’ ”
Hewitt said that he spoke with Crittenton the afternoon of the shooting. “He was very upbeat.” Bartelstein said Crittenton was focused on returning to the NBA. Crittenton has been out of the league since receiving a 38-game suspension in January 2010 for bringing guns to the locker room in a dispute with Gilbert Arenas. Hewitt said on the courtroom stand he warned Crittenton “to be careful who he connected with in the locker room.”