Crittenton Pleads Guilty in Locker Room Gun Standoff

Wizards guard gets fine, year of probation

The other party in the Washington Wizards' alleged macho man standoff that's likely sending Gilbert Arenas out of town pleaded guilty to a gun charge Monday, News4's Pat Collins reported.

Javaris Crittenton was charged with two misdemeanors -- possession of an unregistered firearm and attempted carrying of a pistol without a license -- in connection with a locker room argument with Arenas in which guns reportedly were drawn. The charges were filed in D.C. Superior Court in a document called an "information," which often is a sign of a plea deal.

Prosecutors dropped the second charge, said Peter H. White, Crittenton's lawyer. Crittenton pleaded guilty to the possession of an unregistered firearm and was sentenced to serve a year of unsupervised probation and to pay a $1,250 fine, Collins reported. He must also participate in the NBA's Haiti relief effort and that he counsels disadvantaged children in D.C.

Crittenton brought a legally owned, unloaded handgun to Washington "only because he legitimately feared for his life" and he accepts responsibility for his conduct, White said. The government has acknowledged that Crittenton didn't threaten anyone with it.

Arenas and Crittenton started bickering over gambling losses during a card game on the team plane as the Wizards flew home from a West Coast road trip on Dec. 19. According to court documents, Arenas threatened to shoot Crittenton in the face and Crittenton said he'd shoot Arenas in his bad knee. Their dispute became heated when the team reconvened for practice two days later, when Arenas took the guns from his locker and Crittenton produced his gun as well. There have been conflicting published accounts as to whether Crittenton also had a gun, whether he drew it on Arenas and whether he may have secretly removed it from the locker room.

In court Monday, Crittenton took full responsibility for his actions and bad judgment. He said he is deeply sorry to the people of Washington, the Wizards organization, the NBA and his family. He admitted making a bad decision and told the judge, "You'll never see me here again."

Crittenton, who has not played this season because of a foot injury, was excused by the team while the legal process plays out. He will meet with NBA officials Tuesday to discuss the future of his basketball career.

Arenas pleaded guilty to a felony gun charge on Jan. 15. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors recommended a sentence in the low end of guidelines six to 24 months with probation, a split sentence or incarceration allowable. The felony charge of carrying a pistol without a license carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Although Arenas acknowledged bringing four guns to the locker room, prosecutors agreed not to file any other charges.

Arenas was charged hours after Arlington, Va., police searched Crittenton's apartment. Police were looking for a silver- or chrome-colored semiautomatic handgun with a black handle. No evidence was seized, according to court documents.

Crittenton had previously said he did nothing wrong.

Arenas acknowledged storing four unloaded guns in his locker at the Verizon Center, saying he wanted to keep them away from his young children and didn't know it was a violation of the city's strict gun laws. He said when he took them out of the locker on Dec. 21, it was a "misguided effort to play a joke" on a teammate.

NBA commissioner David Stern -- particularly upset that Arenas repeatedly joked about the matter with reporters, on Twitter and on the court before a game in Philadelphia -- suspended Arenas indefinitely without pay for the duration of the investigation. ESPN reported Arenas could learn next week when that suspension will end, but regardless, the Wizards are likely to try to void his contract. Possession of a gun at an NBA arena violates the league's collective bargaining agreement.

The Wizards could try to invoke the morals clause found in standard NBA contracts and void the remainder of the six-year, $111 million deal Arenas signed in summer 2008. The players' union likely would contest such a move.

Stay with News4 and for updates as they become available.

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