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Javaris Crittenton sentenced to 23 years in prison for killing a mother of four children

The former NBA guard played for two seasons with the Wizards from 2008-10.

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Former Wizards player Javaris Crittenton pled guilty to murder as part of a plea bargain on Wednesday in Atlanta according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Crittenton shot and killed Julian Jones, a mother of four children in a drive-by shooting while she was outside of her home on August 19, 2011.

In his plea bargain, Crittenton was sentenced to 23 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter and aggravated assault along with his cousin, Douglas Gamble. Both he and Gamble were originally charged with more charges including murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and participation in criminal street gang activity. If Crittenton and/or Gamble pled not guilty, opening statements for the trial would have started today, since jury selection ended on Tuesday. Gamble was sentenced to three years in prison for his guilty plea.

Crittenton was in the NBA for three seasons from 2007-2010, where he played for the Wizards from the 2008-09 through the 2009-10 seasons. He did not play a game in the 2009-10 season due to injury.

Though his time in D.C. was short, Crittenton is best known as one of the players involved in the infamous "GunGate" incident with former franchise star Gilbert Arenas in December 2009, when both players brandished firearms in the Wizards' locker room. Both players were suspended for the remainder of the 2009-10 season as a result of that incident and never recovered. Crittenton never played in the NBA again after the locker room incident, though he did play in China and the D-League in the 2010-11 season.

After that season, the shooting incident happened, which at the time may have been as a result of an incident when Crittenton himself was robbed. While he was released on bond awaiting trial for Jones' death, Crittenton was also arrested and indicted for drug trafficking in January 2014, which only complicated his legal situation.

For more reading about Crittenton and his path into gang activity, Flinder Boyd has an excellent longform column on Fox Sports.

I don't have much more to say about Crittenton, except that it's unfortunate that he ultimately went down this path, especially after GunGate. It is just as unfortunate that four children won't have a mother to come home to, and that Jones' death happened way too soon.