By Ben Golliver
Former NBA player Javaris Crittenton has been indicted on murder charges in connection with the death of a mother of four in Georgia in 2011.
WSBTV.com reports that Crittenton has been out on bond and that he faces 12 counts in the woman's death after a grand jury issued the indictment.
Fulton County Assistant District Attorney Gabriel Banks said not only was Crittenton a gang member, but once he was robbed, he tried to settle the score and find other members from rival gangs who tried to take jewelry from him. Crittenton allegedly opened fire, killing the mother of four children.
"This is very concerning to our office that gang activity extends beyond the street level, but actually ventures into professional sports and what type of message that actually extends to the young people here in the city of Atlanta," said Banks. "So we are very concerned with that and we want to ensure that the young people here in the city of Atlanta don't copycat those efforts."
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports additional details.
“He is involved with the Mansfield Gangster Crips, based out of Los Angeles,” Fulton County Assistant District Attorney and gang prosecutor Gabe Banks said.
Prosecutors said that shortly after Crittenton signed a multi-million-dollar deal with the L.A. Lakers in 2007 he fell in with the Mansfield Gangster Crips.
“It is not uncommon for individuals involved in professional athletics to go out and join street gangs for protection,” Banks said.
Police charged Crittenton, 25, with murder in 2011, alleging that he shot into a crowd of people in retaliation for being robbed of more than $50,000 worth of jewelry. He initially fled law enforcement but later turned himself in to authorities in California after the FBI issued a "Wanted" poster. Crittenton was arrested again in 2012 after being pulled over for speeding.
Before the murder charge, Crittenton made headlines for his involvement in a 2009 dispute over gambling debts with then-Wizards teammate Gilbert Arenas. NBA commissioner David Stern suspended Arenas and Crittenton for the rest of the 2009-10 season after Arenas brought guns into the Wizards' locker room, jokingly daring Crittenton to "pick one" and shoot him. The Wizards released Crittenton shortly after the suspension. Crittenton played just two seasons in the NBA, including stints with the Lakers, Grizzlies and Wizards. He attended training camp with the Bobcats and later briefly played in the the D-League. He averaged 5.3 points and 1.8 assists during his NBA career.