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Washington Wizards' Javaris Crittenton pleads guilty to gun charge

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By Keith L. Alexander and Mike Wise
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Wizards reserve guard Javaris Crittenton pleaded guilty in D.C. Superior Court on Monday to a misdemeanor gun possession charge stemming from his locker room confrontation with Gilbert Arenas at Verizon Center last month. He was sentenced to a year of unsupervised probation.

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As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to drop a second misdemeanor charge and not seek jail time. Senior Judge Bruce Beaudin accepted the plea and sentenced Crittenton to the probation and $1,250 in fines. Crittenton also agreed to begin a mentoring program for District children and to work with the NBA on relief for Haiti earthquake victims.

Crittenton, 22, was charged Monday with unlawful possession of a firearm and attempting to carry a pistol without a license, both misdemeanors. Each charge carried a maximum year in jail.

"I accept full responsibility for my bad judgment and terrible mistake," a soft-spoken Crittenton told the judge. "I apologize to the District of Columbia, the Wizards, the NBA and my family for the embarrassment. I made a bad decision. This will never happen to me again." Crittenton's mother sat in the audience a few rows behind him.

In court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Kavanaugh revealed new details of the now-infamous argument between Crittenton and Arenas that led to the gun incident, and how Crittenton feared for his safety.

On Dec. 19, prosecutors say, the team flew on a chartered flight to the Washington area from Phoenix. Arenas and Crittenton got into an argument over a card game, and Crittenton suggested a fistfight. But Arenas said he was too old to fight and instead said he would burn Crittenton's car or shoot him in the face. Crittenton then told Arenas he would "shoot the [expletive]" out of Arenas and shoot Arenas in his surgically repaired left knee, prosecutors said.

Arenas later told Wizards employees that he was joking about the threats. But Crittenton told prosecutors that he took Arenas's threats seriously and packed the gun in his bag and brought it to Verizon Center for protection.

On Dec. 21, about 9:30 a.m., Arenas arrived at Verizon Center for practice. He came into the locker room wearing a black backpack with a silver Smith & Wesson .500 magnum revolver inside. He then placed four guns on the chair directly in front of Crittenton's locker. Arenas wrote "PICK 1" on a piece of paper and placed it on Crittenton's chair near the guns. Arenas said he also was joking.

When Crittenton saw the guns, he said, "What is this?"

Arenas told Crittenton, "You said you were going to shoot me, so pick one."

Crittenton said he did not need Arenas's guns because he had his own, prosecutors said in court papers. Crittenton picked up one of the guns from the chair and threw it across the locker room.

Crittenton then displayed his own pistol, a silver-colored, 9mm Taurus semiautomatic. But Crittenton never pointed the unloaded gun at Arenas, prosecutors said.


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