SANTA ANA (AP) — Former NBA player Javaris Crittenton was arrested at an Orange County airport to face a murder charge in a deadly Atlanta shooting, officials reported. The one-time Laker was suspended from the league for having guns in a locker room with Washington teammate Gilbert Arenas.
Crittenton was taken into custody Monday night at John Wayne Airport in Orange County after checking in for a Delta Air Lines flight to Atlanta, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.
Eimiller said he was arrested without incident by FBI agents with assistance from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Authorities were trying to determine whether Crittenton will make an initial appearance in federal court, or be taken directly to Atlanta to face state charges there.
“He offered to turn himself in,” Lawyer Brian Steel told The Associated Press earlier Monday. “He’s not guilty. We look forward to getting it to the courts.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported that Crittenton planned to surrender in Atlanta.
Police earlier obtained a murder warrant for Crittenton in the Aug. 19 shooting of 22-year-old Jullian Jones, a mother of four young children. Police say Jones was walking with two men when she was shot and they believe one of the men with her was the target.
Police spokesman Carlos Campos on Friday said the motive appears to be retaliation for a robbery in April, in which Crittenton was a victim.
When asked earlier Friday about Steel’s statement that Crittenton planned to surrender, Atlanta police didn’t confirm it.
“Mr. Crittenton is wanted for murder,” Sgt. Curtis Davenport said late Monday. “We will be pleased when he is taken into our custody in a peaceful manner.”
When he was with the Washington Wizards in December 2009, Crittenton and Arenas had a dispute over a card game on a team flight. Two days later, Arenas brought four guns to the locker room and set them in front of Crittenton’s locker with a sign telling him to “PICK 1.” Crittenton then took out his own gun.
Crittenton pleaded guilty in January 2010 to a misdemeanor gun charge and received a year of unsupervised probation. Arenas entered his guilty plea on Jan. 15. He served a short time in a halfway house.
Steel said he was retained by Crittenton’s family on Monday morning, and was in contact with Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard and the FBI Fugitive Task Force to make arrangements for the former player’s arrest.
“They asked that he come to Atlanta, and we said `no problem,”‘ Steel said.
Crittenton is on the roster of the NBA developmental league’s Dakota Wizards.