Javaris Crittenton charged with murder

Updated: August 27, 2011, 7:07 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

ATLANTA -- Javaris Crittenton, the former NBA player once suspended by the league for bringing a gun into the Washington Wizards' locker room, has been charged with murder in the shooting of a woman on an Atlanta street.

Police spokesman Carlos Campos said Friday night that police have secured a murder warrant for the arrest of Crittenton in connection with the shooting death of 22-year-old Jullian Jones on Aug. 19. Campos said Crittenton, a former Georgia Tech player, isn't in custody and is wanted.

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Atlanta police Maj. Keith Meadows told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday night that Crittenton is believed to be in the Los Angeles area. He said the FBI is involved in the investigation.

Jones, a mother of four, was walking with a group of people on the city's southwest side when she was shot by someone inside a dark-colored SUV, police said.

Investigators say they don't believe the woman was the intended target. Campos said the motive appears to be retaliation for a robbery in April, in which Crittenton was a victim.

A source with knowledge of the investigation told Outside the Lines' John Barr that Crittenton had jewelry stolen in April and confirmed the shooting was in retaliation for that robbery.

Police were able to identify an SUV at the murder scene, a truck that Crittenton had rented for a family member, the source said.

As of Thursday, the family member for whom Crittenton rented the SUV was the prime suspect in the shooting, but late Thursday police received new information that helped them identify Crittenton as the triggerman, according to the source.

The source confirmed that the victim, Jullian Jones, was not the intended target.

"He planned to shoot the person who robbed him and missed," the source said.

Messages left for an agent who has represented Crittenton weren't immediately returned to The Associated Press on Friday night.

Crittenton most recently played in the NBA with Washington in the 2008-09 season, then -- while sidelined by an ankle injury that kept him out of action the entire next season -- was involved in the locker-room gun confrontation with teammate Gilbert Arenas.

Crittenton was suspended for the final 38 games of the 2009-10 season by the NBA after he and Arenas acknowledged bringing guns into the locker room. Two days after a dispute stemming from a card game on a team flight, Arenas brought four guns to the locker room and set them in front of Crittenton's locker with a sign telling him to "PICK 1." Crittenton then took out his own gun.

Crittenton pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge on Jan. 25, 2010, and received probation.

After the Wizards declined to re-sign him, he signed a non-guaranteed contract with Charlotte before last season. The Bobcats waived him Oct. 15, and he then played five games in China for the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions, averaging 25.8 points. He also played 20 games for the NBDL's Dakota Wizards, averaging 14.3 points.

Crittenton was drafted 19th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2007. He played little with Los Angeles and was traded to Memphis in his rookie year, then to Washington in December 2008.

Crittenton averaged 5.3 points and 1.8 assists in 113 NBA games.

John Barr is a reporter for ESPN's enterprise unit. The Associated Press contributed to this report.