- Eamonn Brennan, ESPN Staff Writer
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Former Illinois forward Jereme Richmond's unfortunate summer just got much, much worse.
Richmond was charged with aggravated battery and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon for allegedly beating a 17-year-old woman and threatening her with a gun, according a report Tuesday afternoon by the Daily Herald, a suburban Chicago newspaper. Richmond and 22-year-old friend Matthew Riley were arrested outside the victim's house in North Chicago, Ill., on Monday afternoon after police found a .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol in the car that Richmond and Riley had taken to the victim's house.
According to Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Stephen Scheller, the victim and Richmond had a "dating relationship that had soured in recent weeks." And prepare yourself, because it gets scary here:
On Sunday, Scheller said, the woman drove to Richmond’s residence in the 2000 block of Arthur Drive in Waukegan to retrieve her cellphone. The two began to argue outside Richmond’s house, Scheller said, and Richmond shoved the woman back into her car during the ruckus.
Monday afternoon, Scheller said, Richmond and Meyer drove to the woman’s house and Richmond began to argue with her again as her mother looked on. At one point, Scheller said, Richmond spit on the woman and said he was going to shoot her. Richmond turned back toward the car where Meyer was seated and was searching for something when a Waukegan police car came on to the scene.
The implication there is that Richmond had gone back to the car to search for the gun. Whether or not that's true -- terrifying though it may be -- is beside the point. At the end of the day, Richmond could now face up to 14 years in prison if he is convicted on both charges (though he would also be eligible for probation, according to the Herald).
Just a few months ago, Richmond was among the first freshmen in the country to declare for the NBA. Long seen by scouts as a lottery-level talent, Richmond's decision was decried as too hasty by most (including yours truly), and the concerns over his attitude and work ethic -- not to mention some supposed missed workouts -- caused his stock to plummet dramatically.
Richmond went undrafted. The NBA began its lockout. The last we'd heard from him, his uncle was airing potshots about coaches and NBA scouts while his father was attempting to smooth things over in the Chicago Tribune a few days later.
Now all of that -- Richmond's decision, the NBA and the arguments therein -- seems laughably minor. If NBA GMs were hesitant before, they're going to treat Richmond like exposed uranium now. Besides, this sort of thing is much more serious. It cuts much deeper.
Somewhere along the line, things went horribly wrong for Jereme Richmond. It may be a while before he can pick up the pieces.