Crittenton Pleads Guilty to Gun Charge
D.C. Superior Court Senior Judge Bruce Beaudin sentenced Crittenton to a year of unsupervised probation, a $1,000 fine and community service, which will include time on the NBA's Haiti project.
"Possessing a firearm unlawfully in the District of Columbia can lead to nothing but trouble and can have serious consequences" Acting U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips said in a statement. "We commend Mr. Crittenton for accepting responsibility and hope he fully appreciates the gravity of his actions."
Prosecutors took a much dimmer view of Arenas' role, charging him with felony gun possession. He pleaded guilty Jan. 15 and, under a deal worked out with the U.S. Attorney's Office, he could spend as much as six months in jail. Arenas, who was suspended indefinitely by the league earlier this month, is scheduled to be sentenced March 26.
"The gun was legally purchased, but bringing it into the District, even for self defense, violated the city's strict gun control laws," Crittenton's lawyer Peter White said in an e-mail. "Mr. Crittenton, who was 21 years old at the time of this incident, has never before been arrested or charged with any crime, and with today's misdemeanor plea to possession of an unregistered firearm, accepts responsibility for his conduct. He looks forward to explaining his actions to the NBA and returning to the basketball court as soon as possible."
Crittenton has been on an indefinite leave of absence from the Wizards since late last month, when the incident with Arenas first came to light; the third-year guard had not played this season after having preseason surgery on his left foot. He has not been disciplined by the team or the NBA; Arenas has been under indefinite suspension by the NBA since Jan. 6.
The team issued this statement late Monday afternoon: "The charges filed today against Javaris Crittenton and his subsequent plea represent another disappointing development in what has already been a long and frustrating process for the team, the NBA and, most importantly, our fans. Javaris clearly used very bad judgment in this situation and will now face the consequences of his actions.''
There weren't any surprises in the proffer of facts -- a document that details the evidence -- released on Monday.
Just like in Arenas case, prosecutors wrote the two players got into an argument over a card game on the team plane between late on Dec. 19 and into the early hours of Dec. 20.
Crittenton challenged Arenas to a fight, prompting Arenas to say he was too old to fistfight and would instead shoot Crittenton in the face. Crittenton then said he'd shoot Arenas in his surgically repaired knee.
"(Crittenton) believed that Arenas intended to harm him," prosecutors wrote. "After getting off the shuttle bus, other individuals that were present during the argument made comments to Crittenton that confirmed his belief that Arenas intended to follow through with his threats."
White said his client "brought a lawfully owned, unloaded handgun into Washington only because he legitimately feared for his life."
On Dec. 21, Crittenton put an unloaded handgun a backpack and carried it with him to Verizon Center. Prosecutors wrote that Crittenton initially left he backpack in the car, but retrieved it because he thought Arenas "would blow up his car or attempt to shoot him."
He set the backpack down and walked into the trainer's room. When Crittenton arrived back at his locker, he saw that Arenas had placed several hand guns down with a note that said, "Pick 1."
Crittenton said he didn't need Arenas' guns and that he had his own. He pulled the gun he had in his backpack and showed it Arenas. Prosecutors wrote that there was no evidence to show the gun was loaded.
"You are going to need more than that little gun," Arenas allegedly told Crittenton.
Crittenton told prosecutors that after it appeared Arenas wasn't going to shoot him, he went back in the trainer's room. Crittenton later surrendered his gun, a 9mm Taurus, to investigators.