Former Washington Wizards guard Javaris Crittenton (R) appears in Los Angeles Superior Court for an extradition hearing with his attorney Brian Steel August 31, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. The hearing was in connection with a warrant from Atlanta charging him with murdering a 22-year-old woman. (Photo by Al Seib-Pool/Getty Images)
Former Washington Wizards guard Javaris Crittenton has been set free on a $230,000 bond by an Atlanta judge while he awaits trial on murder charges.
Fulton County Magistrate Judge Karen Woodson rejected a motion to dismiss the charges from Crittenton's attorney but allowed the former NBA player to go free after hearing testimony from Crittenton's friends and coaches, including current George Mason University head coach Paul Hewitt, who coached Crittenton at Georgia Tech. Woodson ordered Hewitt and others who testified on Crittenton's behalf to co-sign the bond.
Crittenton, an Atlanta native who played 56 games for the Wizards over two seasons, is charged with murder in the death of 22-year-old Julian Jones. Jones was shot in the leg on Aug. 19 while walking with friends and died during surgery. Prosecutors believe that Jones was not the intended target and allege that Crittenton was seeking revenge after being robbed earlier this year. An Atlanta police detective testified Tuesday that Crittenton had been picked out of a photo lineup by an eyewitness who had a "good, clear" look at the gunman.
According to the Associated Press, Hewitt testified that Crittendon had called him hours before the shooting and was "very upbeat." Hewitt reportedly added that he did not believe Crittenton would be involved in any violent activity.
Crittenton is best remembered in Washington for pulling a gun in the Wizards locker room on Christmas Eve 2009 in the midst of a dispute with team star Gilbert Arenas over gambling debts. For his part in the incident, Crittenton pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun possession charge and was given a year's probation. Crittenton and Arenas were later suspended for the remainder of the 2009-10 NBA season by league Commissioner David Stern.
Crittenton most recently played for the Dakota Wizards of the NBA Development League. He has denied any involvement in the shooting.