Former Los Angeles Lakers guard Javaris Crittenton pleaded guilty in the 2011 killing of a woman from Atlanta. Crittenton admitted firing a weapon from a moving car but said he didn’t mean to actually hit anyone.
Despite his initial claims that he was not guilty, the 27-year-old pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter with a weapon and aggravated assault with a firearm. In doing so, the state dropped a charge of murder and the ex-player was sentenced to 23 years in prison along with 17 years probation.
Crittenton was indicted on charges of murder and gang activity in April of 2013 after he was accused of shooting at a crowd of people and hitting and killing Julian Jones, a 22-year-old mother of four. Crittenton’s cousin, Douglas Gamble, was also charged with the crime.
The former Laker said he took the plea deal because it was “time to be a man.”
In court Crittenton broke down and sobbed saying that he never meant to actually shoot anyone and only meant to frighten some people he thought had stolen things from him.
“I apologize from the depths of my heart. I’m not a murderer. I made a mistake, one that I wish I could take back,” Crittenton said.
The judge, though, admonished Crittenton for downplaying the shooting and calling it but an “incident.”
Family of the victim also spoke out. “My daughter was robbed of her life,” the victim’s mother, June Woods, said. “The only way her children will know their mom now is through stories and pictures.”
Even after his arrest for the shooting, though, Crittenton found himself in trouble with the law on a totally separate issue. He was arrested for “trying to move” 900 pounds of cocaine in January of 2014.
Between 2007 to 2011 Crittenton played pro basketball for teams such as the Washington Wizards, the Memphis Grizzlies, Toronto Raptors, and the Lakers. He was third-team All-ACC in 2007 and won “Mr. Georgia Basketball” in 2006 while he played high school ball. He played 113 NBA games and averaged 5.3 points.
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