Javaris Crittenton, a former star at Georgia Tech, who played three seasons in the NBA, pleaded guilty to manslaughter on Wednesday morning for killing a 23-year-old mother of four back in August 2011. Crittenton was sentenced to 23 years in prison as part of a plea deal. He apologized for the shooting death of Julian Jones, calling it a “horrible accident”. Crittenton was charged with murder, felony murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and participation in criminal street gang activity.
Crittenton had other legal issues during his NBA days. Crittenton was involved in the infamous confrontation with former Washington Wizards star Gilbert Arenas. Both players at that time, admitted to pulling out guns in the locker room and pointing them at each other.
Before the plea deal was reached, prosecutors were preparing to introduce evidence that he joined a street gang his rookie year in the NBA. Crittenton admitted in court to being a gang member in during his guilty plea, in which he tearfully apologized to the family of Jones. He acknowledged to the court that he joined a gang only for protection.
In what will be considered the biggest mistake of his life, Crittenton admitted to prosecutors that he was aiming for a rival gang member, who allegedly had robbed him days earlier. Instead, he shot Jones by accident. It’s tough for any legal defense to smooth over the jury when an innocent bystander has been gunned down.
Crittenton also pleaded guilty to aggravated assault Wednesday, for his attempt to shoot the rival gang member.