Gilbert Arenas Released From Halfway House Following Felony Gun Conviction

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It's Official: Arenas, Crittenton Suspended For Rest Of Season

The New York Times' Howard Beck was the first of many to report that David Stern has officially suspended both Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton for the rest of the NBA season.

Stern's statement, per Beck on Twitter:

The issue here is not about the legal ownership and possession of guns, either in one’s home or elsewhere. It is about possession of guns in the NBA workplace, which will not be tolerated. Both have expressed remorse for their actions and an understanding of the seriousness of their transgressions. Both have volunteered to engage in community service to turn the lessons they have learned into an educational message for others. I accept fully the sincerity of their expressions of regret and intent to create something positive from this incident.

Stern will hold a conference call with the media at 5:30 Wednesday.

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Source: Gilbert Arenas Suspended For Rest Of Season

A source has just told the Washington Post’s Michael Lee that Gilbert Arenas will be suspended for the rest of the season.

Lee reports that it was actually Arenas who asked to be suspended for the season, and Stern acquiesced to that request. The NBA Players Association does not plan on fighting the decision.

For more reaction, check out SB Nation's Wizards blog, Bullets Forever.

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Javaris Crittenton To Be Sentenced To Misdemeanor Gun Possession Charge Monday Afternoon

Gilbert Arenas’ legal situation will not be fully resolved until March 26, his sentence date. Javaris Crittenton’s, however, looks like it could be settled today.

The Washington Post is reporting that in return for Crittenton’s guilty plea to one misdemeanor gun possession charge, prosecutors have agreed to drop another misdemeanor charge and recommend probation rather than a jail sentence.

Each misdemeanor charge — the one Crittenton pled guilty to and the one prosecutors agreed to drop — carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison.

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Javaris Crittenton Charged With Illegal Gun Possession

The Washington Post is reporting that Wizards guard Javaris Crittenton, the other member of the December 21 dispute involving Gilbert Arenas, has been formally charged with illegal gun possession.

Crittenton’s case had been held up because the authorities had trouble locating his gun, which he allegedly chambered after Arenas put four unloaded firearms on his locker table and told Crittenton to pick one. However, Crittenton’s lawyer, Peter White, told Michael Lee of the Washington Post that Crittenton’s gun was unloaded. White also said that Crittenton brought the gun to the Verizon Center “because he legitimately feared for his life.”

Like Arenas, Crittenton is working on a deal where he pleas to a misdemeanor in return for the felony charge being dropped.

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Gilbert Arenas Pleads Guilty To Felony, Will Be Sentenced March 26

The Washington Post is reporting that Gilbert Arenas has just plead guilty to a gun possession felony, dating back to a December 21 altercation with teammate Javaris Crittenton. Arenas was scheduled to appear in court for the plea at 2:30 Friday.

According to Dan Steinberg of the Post, due to a plea agreement, prosecutors recommended that Arenas serve a maximum of just six months in jail for the charge. According to Mike Debonis from the Washington City Paper, the court is scheduled to sentence Arenas on March 26.

Mike Jones is reporting that Arenas was not charged for any additional misdemeanors.

SB Nation and Bullets Forever will have more details as they emerge.

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Arenas Expected To Plead Guilty On Friday

Gilbert Arenas, who on Thursday was charged with a firearm felony, is expected to plead guilty on Friday. In exchange for his plea, Arenas will serve much less or even no jail time, according to sources in a report by the Washington Post. 

Arenas is scheduled to enter his plea on Friday afternoon before D.C. Superior Court Judge Robert E. Morin. Even if prosecutors agree not to seek prison for Arenas, it will be up to Morin whether to sentence Arenas to probation, community service, a fine or some combination. The judge, a former defense attorney, also could send Arenas to jail.

According to The Examiner, "Arenas has agreed to plead guilty to one felony count of carrying a pistol without a license and four misdemeanor counts of unauthorized use of a weapon.

The key bit of news in all of this is that prosecutors filed a one-count "information" in D.C. Superior Court, which is why Arenas is expected to plead guilty on Friday. Charges can only be filed by information when the defendant agrees to waive his right before a grand jury. 

Informations generally are filed when a defendant has agreed to plead guilty to the charge. Officially, the information charges Arenas with carrying a pistol without a license, outside of a home or place of business. A grand jury has been hearing evidence in the case, but no indictment has been returned.

Arenas declined comment through a spokesperson. 

Be sure to visit Bullets Forever for more reaction and news. 

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Report: Crittenton Cocked A Loaded Firearm During Locker Room Confrontation

On the same day that Gilbert Arenas was suspended indefinitely by the NBA, new, much scarier details about the locker room confrontation between him and Javaris Crittenton have surfaced. Originally the story was that Arenas placed four guns on a chair and told Crittenton to "pick one" (remember, all as a joke). But in a new report from Mike Wise of the Washington Post, the scene may have been even more dangerous than previously thought. 

According to two first-hand accounts of the confrontation, Crittenton responded to Arenas's action -- which included laying the four unloaded weapons in Crittenton's cubicle with a note that read, "Pick One" -- by brandishing his own firearm, loading a clip of ammunition into the gun and cocking the weapon.

Arenas never spoke of this earlier because he wanted to protect Crittenton from prosecution. For the record, Crittenton said the account was "false." Also, at this point, his alleged gun has never been found. Preston Burton, a defense attorney in the District, said, "It's going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to make a case without a gun." 

The full, updated account of what took place in the Wizards' locker room, as reported by Mike Wise, according to two unnamed witnesses: 

Walking into the locker room by himself two days after the dispute on the team plane, according to two witnesses, Arenas laid out the guns in Crittenton's locker. Two other teammates eventually sauntered in and, while Arenas was writing the note in front of Crittenton's cubicle, in walked Crittenton, according to their account.

Asking Arenas what he was doing, Arenas replied, "If you want to shoot me, I'd just thought I'd make it easy for you." As other teammates laughed, Crittenton crumpled up the paper, tossed one of Arenas's guns across the room, where it bounced in front of a team trainer, and said he didn't need any of Arenas' firearms because he had his own, according to the witness accounts. Crittenton then drew his weapon, loaded the clip into the chamber and cocked the bar, the witnesses said.

Neither witness said the gun was ever pointed at Arenas, but both said Crittenton began singing as he held the gun.

Arenas began laughing, the witnesses said, telling Crittenton, "Look at that little shiny gun," as two other players slowly retreated to the training room.

Arenas eventually followed. By the time the players came back out, Crittenton was gone.

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Arenas: 'I Let Down My Teammates And Our Fans. I Am Very Sorry'

Here is a statement issued by Gilbert Arenas after learning he was suspended indefinitely on Wednesday by the NBA. It's totally not a statement from his lawyer. 

"I feel very badly that my actions have caused the NBA to suspend me, but I understand why the league took this action. I put the NBA in a negative light and let down my teammates and our fans. I am very sorry for doing that.

While I never intended any harm or disrespect to the NBA or anyone else, my gun possession at the Verizon Center and my attempts at humor showed terrible judgment. I take full responsibility for my conduct.

Earlier today, I called Commissioner Stern to apologize, and I hope we will be able to talk soon. I look forward to the day I can return to basketball. In the meantime, I will focus on dealing responsibly with this serious situation and I will continue to cooperate fully with the investigations by law enforcement and NBA authorities."

I called Commissioner Stern to apologize, and I hope we will be able to talk soon -- sounds like Mr. Stern didn't take Gil's call. Then again, no one just calls The Commish. 

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David Stern's Statement: NBA Suspends Gilbert Arenas

Via Sporting News, a copy of David Stern’s full statement regarding Arenas’ suspension.

“The possession of firearms by an NBA player in an NBA arena is a matter of the utmost concern to us. I initially thought it prudent to refrain from taking immediate action because of the pendency of a criminal investigation involving the office of the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia and the Metropolitan Police Department, and the consideration of this matter by a grand jury sitting in the District of Columbia. For the same reason, I directed the Wizards to refrain from taking any action.

Wizards personnel continue to be interviewed by law enforcement authorities, some are scheduled for appearance before the grand jury and the investigation is proceeding with the intensity that one would expect for such a serious incident.

Although it is clear that the actions of Mr. Arenas will ultimately result in a substantial suspension, and perhaps worse, his ongoing conduct has led me to conclude that he is not currently fit to take the court in an NBA game. Accordingly, I am suspending Mr. Arenas indefinitely, without pay, effective immediately pending the completion of the investigation by the NBA."

Again, ominous words from Commissioner Stern, who’s clearly displeased with Arenas’ antics last night, and in the days following the initial report. So far, there’s been very little in the way of remorse from the Wizards’ superstar, something that no doubt factored into Stern’s decision to act now. It was a public relations crisis the moment it happened, but it seems — in Stern’s eyes, at least — that Gilbert’s words and actions in the wake of the allegations have compounded matters.

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Arenas Suspended Indefinitely, Without Pay

Just a few minutes ago in the SB Nation offices, we were wondering aloud why Gilbert hadn't been suspended yet? Technically, it was because the NBA couldn't punish him twice, so if they'd suspended him for ten games now, and he was convicted of a crime later, they couldn't lengthen the suspension. So in other words, the NBA decided not to suspend him because they didn't want to risk putting forth too light a penalty. And... Well, that conversation is now over.

The NBA and Commissioner David Stern have suspended Gilbert Arenas indefinitely, perhaps in response to last night's gun routine, but more likely, an inevitable reaction in light of all the controversy that's been swirling around the superstar guard.

In a statement, Commissioner Stern had this to say: "His ongoing conduct has led me to conclude that he is not currently fit to take the court in an NBA game." Just dripping with... Polite disgust, if you will.

We'll have more as it emerges.

UPDATE: More Stern: "It is clear that the actions of Mr. Arenas will ultimately result in a substantial suspension, and perhaps worse..." Perhaps worse? Could Stern be referring to a voided contract? A suspension spanning multiple seasons? Or perhaps it's just a scare tactic from Stern, who's notorious for wielding his power in demonstrative fashion.

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Bullets Forever: The Wizards Should Part Ways With Arenas

Echoing what I wrote for SBNation this morning, Bullets Forever blogger and SB Nation contributor Mike Prada checks in with a thorough discussion of Arenas' future with the team. Namely, he might not have one:

Gilbert Arenas officially crossed a line when he brought guns into the locker room.  He crosses that line if his version of the story (he brought them in to diffuse tension with Javaris Crittenton and it didn't work) holds up, and he crosses that line if it was worse than that.  Having guns on team property is against NBA rules.  It's arguably illegal in DC.  It threatens the perceived safety (i.e. it doesn't matter if the guns were loaded or not) of the locker room for your teammates, your coaches and, as Matt Moore pointed out to me on Twitter today, even the journalists and bloggers like myself who cover your team.  It's a major no-no under any circumstances, and image problem or not, the league should respond harshly.  Intent isn't important here, because the lapse in judgment is so awful.       

And with the Wizards currently in disarray anyway, Gilbert Arenas should get no second chance to prove himself as a Wizard again when the inevitable harsh (read: season-long) suspension from the NBA comes.  Maybe in another situation, he could.  Maybe if the Wizards were 21-10 instead of 10-21, he could.  But not here, and not now.  This team needs a facelift anyway, and the face of the previous edition of the Wizards cannot possibly lead that facelift when he's coming off such a colossal error in judgment like this. 

But Prada preaches caution, as well. Just because Gilbert doesn't fit with future doesn't meant we should suddenly question his character.

Arenas deserves a second chance somewhere else because his issues are workable.  We should be very careful to make sweeping judgments about his character that would require linking his lapse in judgment with the guns to his eccentric personality, his recent Twitter binge or his mini-dramas on and off the court.  That's unfair to Arenas, and it would be two-faced of us, who once celebrated his crazy side and told him never to turn it off.

It's a pretty fantastic discussion of all that's gone on, and how the Wizards might proceed. There's some differences of opinions between Prada and I, but on the whole, the conclusion is the same: after this latest controversy, Arenas' tenure with the Wizards will never recover. It's a sad commentary on the how quickly relationships between a superstar and a franchise can devolve, but then again, it's also a testament to just how reckless it was for Arenas to bring guns to an NBA arena.

As Stephen Jackson, the NBA's resident hothead, said to AOL Fanhouse, "Even I can't imagine that." When a star player's behavior makes Stephen Jackson blush, there's something seriously wrong.

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Gilbert Arenas Case Will Go To Grand Jury

According to TMZ, Gilbert Arenas' gun case is headed to a D.C. Grand Jury:

Arenas -- aka Agent Zero -- and Crittenton are being interviewed by D.C. detectives right now. Law enforcement tells TMZ after the interviews, the plan is to take the case before the D.C. grand jury. We're told the U.S. Attorney (which presents local cases to the grand jury in D.C.) will call the head coach for the Washington Wizards and someone on the security team at the Verizon Center as witnesses.

We're told, in addition to weapons charges, Arenas and Crittenton could be charged with criminal assault.

Something to keep in mind: if Gilbert Arenas is convicted of a felony, his contract will almost unquestionably be voided. And though the locker room conflict has been downplayed as horseplay by Arenas, it seems that D.C. detectives have a different perspective, at least for now. We'll continue to keep you update as this story evolves and more details emerge throughout the day.

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More On Gilbert Arenas: This Is No Laughing Matter

Well it’s been a weekend of conflicting stories and confusing implications with regard to what may or may not have happened in the Wizards locker room a few weeks ago. But courtesy of Adrian Wojnarowski, who broke this story for Yahoo, this much has become clear: The NBA’s not laughing.

Arenas will try use to his charm and clownish antics as the cornerstone of his defense. Whatever legal issues could arise with the strict gun laws in D.C., there’s still the matter of Stern’s punishment. This story has engulfed the league, and several league office and team sources believe Stern will be harsh in his judgment no matter what the legal system decides to do. This could be a suspension that extends over months, possibly the rest of the season.

[…]

Arenas is trying to laugh his way out of something that isn’t funny and isn’t a joke to his franchise, to the NBA. Maybe Agent Zero tried to get one too many laughs, but whatever happened, however he tries to spin it now, the consequences promise to be immense for him. He has a story for law enforcement on Monday, and maybe it’s the truth and they’ll believe it. Eventually, he’s going to New York for a most unforgiving judge and jury in Olympic Tower, for David Stern, and it will be a good, long time before Gilbert Arenas is back in the NBA.

The rest of Wojnarowski’s report is fantastic, as he chronicles what’s been a disastrous campaign for Arenas and the Wizards. We’ll have much more on Arenas tomorrow, but for now, as this latest report suggests, the details in this story are secondary. Regardless of what happened that day, the ramifications for Arenas are going to be very, very serious. Something that will undoubtedly alter the career of someone who, just a few years ago, was considered the league’s fastest rising star. In the words of Bunk Moreland… “Some shameful sh—.”

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Comcast Sports Report: Arenas Did Not Brandish Weapon

According to CSNWashington’s Chris Miller, Gilbert Arenas did not brandish a weapon in his dispute with Javaris Crittendon. Of course, it should be noted that in the entire article that accompanies this claim, there’s nothing we could excerpt to corroborate this claim except for this:

Comcast SportsNet’s Chris Miller is reporting that Arenas did not point a gun at Crittenton and that Crittenton himself did not have a weapon.

So, uh, take his word for it? Of course, as an addendum to all the conflicting reports regarding what did or did not happen, it seems Gilbert Arenas has begun using Twitter. Just now, he’s offered the following thoughts:

i understand this is serious..but if u ever met me you know i dont do serious things im a goof ball this story today dont sound goofy to me. … i hav media outside my house…sumone tell them its to cold to be sittin out there they might get frost bite…it is winter still…

Check back for more updates as this gets sorted out, and for more reaction from Wizards fans, check out Bullets Forever, where Mike Prada and the commenters are trying to make sense of this mess, themselves.

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Arenas Denies Report, Threatens To Sue New York Post

Just over an hour ago, Gilbert Arenas tweeted the following, "i wake up this morning and seen i was the new JOHN WAYNE..lmao media is too funny." Now, we have a more official denial, as the Washington Post's Wizards beat writer, Michael Lee, reports that Arenas said, "I saw the story. Very compelling stuff. Some real O.K. corral stuff," in reference to the New York Post article, and added, "That's not the real story."

Lee also reports that Arenas is considering a lawsuit against the New York Post. Again, investigations are ongoing and details are still emerging, but it seems that between Yahoo's initial report, the New York Post account, and now Arenas' denials, it could take a while before we actually find out the truth. In the interim, more "Bookie Ball" please.

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