Javaris Crittenton Formally Charged With Murder, Free On Bond

Former Georgia Tech basketball player Javaris Crittenton was formally charged with murder, and will stand trial in October for the drive-by shooting death of Julian Jones, a mother of four.

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Javaris Crittenton Charged With Murder, Released On $230,000 Bond

Javaris Crittenton was formally charged with the murder of Julian Jones, a mother of four, in a Fulton County (Ga.) courtroom Tuesday afternoon, but the former NBA player did regain his freedom until the case is tried in October after being released on a $230,000 bond. He is required to wear an ankle monitor, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Crittenton is accused of accidentally killing Jones, a mother of four, during a drive-by shooting on August. The intended target of the shooting, police allege, was a male teenager walking with Jones whom Crittenton believed had robbed him of jewelry worth $55,000. 

The prosecution wasn't pleased that Crittenton was granted bond. From the AJC: 

"I guess the judge made the decision that he's not a danger to the community, which is odd, given the charges," said Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter. "It's not unheard of, but it's rare."

Crittenton's lawyers arranged for dozens of supporters to attend the hearing asking for his bond, as well as a petition with more than 1,000 signatures and character witnesses that included Paul Hewitt, who coached Crittenton at Georgia Tech. 


Javaris Crittenton Surrenders To Police, Will Face Murder Charges In Atlanta

Javaris Crittenton surrendered to police in southern California on Monday, three days after news broke that Atlanta police had a warrant out for the former L.A. Laker and Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket in connection with the shooting murder of a 22-year-old woman in Atlanta. Crittenton's lawyer told the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Monday that the former player would surrender; the AJC reports that FBI agents took Crittenton into custody at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana. Crittenton was reportedly attempting to board a plane to Atlanta, where he planned to surrender.

Crittenton, who had stints with the Lakers, Wizards and Grizzlies, last faced trouble when he was involved in the Gilbert Arenas guns incident at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. That dispute stemmed from a card game gone wrong when Crittenton and Arenas were teammates on the Wizards; Crittenton reportedly joked that he would shoot Arenas in the knee, and Arenas took it a step further by placing a bag of firearms on Crittenton's locker room chair with a note that read "Pick 1." Crittenton allegedly responded by pulling his own gun. Both served lengthy suspensions handed down by the NBA.


The Javaris Crittenton Murder Charges Elicit Plenty Of Reaction

Javaris Crittenton is wanted in connection with a murder investigation for the murder of a mother of four in downtown Atlanta. As one would assume to be the case, the former NBA player is bringing about plenty of reaction from all around the web regarding his latest bout with the law.

Crittenton, a 23-year-old former first round pick by the Los Angeles Lakers, has had a rather difficult fall from grace -- both in his personal life as well as on the basketball court -- over the course of the last three years.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Mark Bradley wrote an editorial Saturday morning looking back at the Atlanta native's brief basketball career. Beginning with Crittenton starring alongside Dwight Howard in high school, starring for one season at Georgia Tech and eventually  being selected in the first round of the 2007 NBA Draft, Crittenton's upbringing isn't one that typically leaves players in this sort of situation.

At such a distressing moment, it would be convenient to blame basketball for the wrong turns in Crittenton's 23-year-old life. But there's free will involved in every life, is there not? He has had role models. He was around successful people and winning programs. He was a good student who was thought to have leadership qualities. And he had, owing to having been a Round 1 draftee, a guaranteed contract.

Give some people those circumstances and they'd make the most of them. Crittenton has made the least.

Crittenton's NBA career wasn't as squeaky-clean as his amateur career, however, as those that recall "Gungate" -- involving Crittenton and teammate Gilbert Arenas both being charged for brandishing handguns in the Washington Wizards locker room -- will surely remember.

Bullets Forever's Mike Prada was front and center during that period of Crittenton's career, having covered the Wizards for SB Nation, and he posted the reaction from his side on Saturday morning.

Finally, the news has been weird for me to process because Crittenton was one of the guys I talked to most when covering the team my first year.  Because he was recovering from injury, he was always lingering around before players were made available, and he was an easy guy to pass the time talking to during those down moments.  I remember him being upset with how the Wizards handled his foot injury, which prevented him from building on a promising end to the previous season, but he always did his best to put on a happy face.

I remember talking to Crittenton about his injury a month later.  He was lingering in the locker room, and I called him over to get an update.  He had this big smile on his face when he answered my questions, which seemed a bit odd to me.  In the middle of the interview, Antawn Jamison came over to him, tapped him on the shoulder and gave him this weird look.  "Why you talkin' like that," Jamison said at the time, wondering, like me, why Crittenton was so excited to talk about an injury.  Given what's transpired now, it's still really jarring that someone who seemed so easygoing and cheerful when I saw him be accused of a crime this serious.

The entire column from Prada is worth reading, but the above is an interesting summary of Prada's personal interaction with a man now involved in a murder investigation. SB Nation Atlanta's Jason Kirk also posted a good read on Crittenton for those looking for even more reaction.

All in all, it's a terribly sad thing whenever a mother of four is murdered and that's what should be kept at the forefront when following the current allegations. The fact that a recent NBA player is involved just makes it a bit more jarring to those involved in the world of sports.

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