Former Los Angeles Lakers player Javaris Crittenton was arrested Monday at a Southern California airport in connection with the Aug. 19 shooting death of a 23-year-old Julian Jones of Atlanta.
Crittenton, 23, who was recruited by Georgia Tech and drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers, was apprehended by FBI agents at Orange County's John Wayne Airport after he checked in for a Delta Air Lines flight bound for Atlanta, according to FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.
According to ABC Atlanta affiliate WSB-TV, police said Jones was walking near her home in southeast Atlanta Aug. 19. Jones, a mother of four, was with two men. A black Chevrolet Tahoe carrying Crittenton drove up and Crittenton allegedly shot at one of the two men, who he believed had stolen jewelry from him in an April 21 robbery.
Initial reports said that Jones was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, although later reports suggested she knew the two men, one of whom police believe was the intended target, according to the Associated Press.
The two men fled after Jones was shot in the leg. She died during surgery later that day.
"We didn't only lose a mother, a friend, or a daughter, or a fiancee. We lost a loved one who was really special to us in our hearts," Jones' mother, June Woods, told WSB-TV.
"If you're a star player ... even if he was robbed ... he had enough money to replace it," said Jones' fiance, Harel Butler. "You can never put a price on her life."
After his arrest, which occurred without incident, it was not clear whether Crittenton would make an initial appearance in federal court or be taken directly to Atlanta to face state charges there.
"He offered to turn himself in,'' his lawyer, Brian Steel, told the Associated Press. "He's not guilty. We look forward to getting it to the courts.''
The FBI had issued an arrest warrant for Crittenton on the charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. Special Agent Steve Emmett said Crittenton bought and traveled on a one-way ticket from Atlanta to Los Angeles last Wednesday.
Previous Misdemeanor Gun ChargeIn 2009, Crittenton was involved in a notorious locker-room incident with Washington Wizards teammate Gilbert Arenas in which both brandished guns. According to Yahoo Sports, Crittenton had beaten Arenas badly in cards, and Arenas refused to pay the five-figure debt. Crittenton had allegedly jokingly threatened to shoot Arenas in the knee.
Crittenton was suspended from the NBA for having guns in a locker room with Arenas. He pleaded guilty in January 2010 to a misdemeanor gun charge and received a year of unsupervised probation.
The Associated Press contributed to this story. Additional information came from ESPN and WSB-TV in Atlanta.