FBI arrests Javaris Crittenton

Updated: August 30, 2011, 10:24 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- Former NBA player Javaris Crittenton, who was suspended from the league in March 2010 for having guns in a locker room with teammate Gilbert Arenas, was arrested Monday in Southern California to face a murder charge in a deadly Atlanta shooting.

Crittenton was taken into custody at about 8 p.m. local time at John Wayne Airport in Orange County after checking in for a red-eye Delta Air Lines flight to Atlanta, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.

She said he was arrested without incident by FBI agents, with assistance from the Orange County Sheriff's Department. Eimiller said Crittenton was with a male companion, who was not arrested.

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Crittenton was taken to a Los Angeles police station, where he was booked on suspicion of being a fugitive from justice. Eimiller said he will be held pending a possible court appearance in state court Wednesday before being taken to Atlanta.

Atlanta Police spokeswoman Kim Jones said Tuesday the timetable for Crittenton's return depends on whether he waives extradition.

Crittenton, 23, was wanted on a federal arrest warrant after the FBI learned that he traveled on a one-way ticket to Los Angeles, where he was known to have family and friends, several days after the Aug. 19 shooting.

Crittenton's attorney told The Associated Press earlier Monday that his client planned to surrender. He said he was in contact with Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard and the FBI Fugitive Task Force to make arrangements for Crittenton's arrest.

"He offered to turn himself in," lawyer Brian Steel said. "He's not guilty. We look forward to getting it to the courts."

But Eimiller said she wasn't aware of any negotiation for Crittenton to surrender.

Police in Atlanta had obtained a murder warrant for Crittenton in the shooting of 22-year-old Jullian Jones, a mother of four young children. Jones was walking with two men when she was shot, and police believe one of the men with her was the target.

Police spokesman Carlos Campos last week said the motive appears to be retaliation for a robbery in April, in which Crittenton was a victim.

When asked about Steel's statement that Crittenton planned to surrender, Atlanta police didn't confirm it.

"Mr. Crittenton is wanted for murder," Sgt. Curtis Davenport said late Monday. "We will be pleased when he is taken into our custody in a peaceful manner."

When he was with the Washington Wizards in December 2009, Crittenton and Arenas had a dispute over a card game on a team flight. Two days later, 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 in January 2010 to a misdemeanor gun charge and received a year of unsupervised probation. Arenas entered his guilty plea on Jan. 15. He served a short time in a halfway house. Both were suspended by the league for the remainder of the 2009-10 season.

Steel said he was retained by Crittenton's family Monday morning, and was in contact with Howard and the FBI Fugitive Task Force to make arrangements for the former player's arrest.

"They asked that he come to Atlanta, and we said, 'No problem,' " Steel said.

Crittenton is on the roster of the NBA D-League's Dakota Wizards.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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