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Former NBA player Javaris Crittenton turns himself in

5:14 PM, Apr 4, 2013   |    comments
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Javaris Crittenton (Courtesy Fulton County Sheriff)
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  • ATLANTA -- Former NBA player and standout Atlanta High School basketball star Javaris Crittenton turned himself into jail on Thursday afternoon.

    On Tuesday, A Fulton County Grand Jury indicted Crittenton for murder. 

    The 12- count indictment charged 25-year-old Crittenton and his cousin Douglas Gamble 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 in connection with the 2011 murder of Julian Jones and the attempted murder of another man.

    Jones was gunned down on August 19, 2011 as she walked with a group of people along Macon Drive in Southwest Atlanta. 

    A gunman opened fire on the group from the backseat of a dark SUV.  Jones was struck multiple times in the leg and hip area and later pronounced dead at Grady Memorial hospital. 

    Prosecutors said Jones was not the intended target. "She had four children that she left behind and she was just there talking with her friend, who happened to be a gang member, and she was caught in the crossfire," said Deputy District Attorney Gabe Banks.

    Banks said the gang member was Trontavious Stephens, a known member of the "ROC Crew" street gang. He said Crittenton and Gamble fired several shots at Stephens but hit Jones instead.

    Five days before that fatal shooting on nearby Mount Zion Road, a gunman fired shots from the driver's seat of a Porsche aimed at a man he believed was Trontavious Stephens.  That victim was Demontinez Stephens, Trontavious' brother, according to Banks. He was not injured. 

    Investigators believe both shootings were gang related in retaliation for an earlier armed robbery in which Javaris Crittenton was victimized.

    Banks said Crittenton, his cousin Gamble, and the Stephens brothers are all members of gangs. "The criminal street gang that he's (Crittenton) actually involved in is based in Los Angeles, California and it's known as the "Mansfield Gangster Crips," he said.

    Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said Crittenton joined the gang after he was drafted out of Georgia Tech by the NBA Los Angeles Lakers.

    Brian Steel, who is Crittenton's attorney, said his client doesn't have any connections to gang activity. "I'm disturbed that somebody would indict Mr. Crittenton for things that he did not do and we look forward to having a jury decide these issues," Steel said.

    Crittenton was arrested on August 30, 2011 in Los Angeles while attempting to board a flight.  He was later granted a $230,000 bond.

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