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Javaris Crittenton pleads guilty to manslaughter, sentenced to 23 years

Former NBA player Jaravis Crittenton accepted a plea deal Wednesday to resolve his murder case and was sentenced to 23 years in prison. 
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Former NBA player Jaravis Crittenton pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter Wednesday in the 2011 killing of Julian Jones, a 22-year-old mother of four, according to Reuters. As part of the plea deal, Crittenton was sentenced to 23 years in prison.

Crittenton, 27, was to stand trial for murder. Prosecutors say he accidentally killed Jones during a drive-by shooting in Atlanta, while attempting to shoot a man who robbed him. Crittenton's cousin, Douglas Gamble, was driving the car and pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Crittenton, an Atlanta native, played one season at Georgia Tech before turning pro. He was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 19th pick in the 2007 NBA draft. The Lakers traded him to the Memphis Grizzlies in February 2008 and he was dealt to the Washington Wizards ten months later.

It was in Washington that Crittenton infamously had an argument with teammate Gilbert Arenas in the team's locker room during which they both brandished loaded guns. In January 2010, commissioner David Stern suspended Crittenton and Arenas indefinitely. Stern announced in March of that year that the players would be suspended for the rest of the season. Both players pleaded guilty to misdemeanor weapons charges and were sentenced to probation.

Crittenton never played again in the NBA after his suspension ended. He played in China in 2010 and in the D-League in 2011. Jones was killed in August 2011 and Crittenton was arrested later in that same month and released on bond. He was not indicted until April 2013 and was again released on bond. Crittenton was also arrested on drug charges in January 2014.

- Dan Gartland