Former NBA forward Chris Gatling takes plea deal for squatting charge

USA TODAY Sports

One-time NBA All-Star Chris Gatling was charged with forgery and theft after allegedly squatting in an Arizona home.

Former NBA forward Chris Gatling pleaded guilty to two charges in August after allegedly squatting in an Arizona home for more than a year, the Arizona Republic reports.

Gatling will be sentenced on Oct. 4 and is expected to receive a supervised probation. He also must pay restitution to his victims, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office told the Republic. The one-time All-Star who played in the NBA from 1991-2002 was believed to have broken into and lived in a Paradise Valley, Ariz., home from July 2010 to August 2011.

He also tried to rent the home out. Gatling obtained a driver's license with the home as his residence and then cashed two renter's checks given to him from a woman who wanted to rent the property. Stacey Ezel signed a lease agreement with Gatling, but found out he was not the owner after he failed to give her the keys, forcing her to investigate the home further:

According to the report, Ezel responded to an ad on Craigslist, which read: "$800/4 br - EX NBA - Paradise Valley Home for rent with Pool & Utility included. ... Going back to Miami, Mexico City, Italy for a year or 2 need someone to watch my home here in PV and what a great place, close to everything and Very Very Quite! Really looking for a Woman, but guys can feel free to contact as well ... (Just Like a Women's touch)."

Gatling initially tried to rent the property, but was denied in 2010 because of poor credit.

He was first charged with two counts of theft, two counts of forgery, a count of identity theft and another for fraud.

Gatling was the Golden State Warriors' 16th overall pick in 1991 and spent the first three-plus years of his career with the Bay Area team. The 6'10, 220 pounder had his best season in 1996-97, when he spent most of the season with the Dallas Mavericks and averaged 19 points and eight rebounds per game. He earned an All-Star berth that year.

Gatling also played for the Miami Heat, New Jersey Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic, Denver Nuggets and Cleveland Cavaliers.

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