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Arenas' teammate pleads guilty in gun case

By James Vicini

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Javaris Crittenton of the Washington Wizards pleaded guilty on Monday to a misdemeanor gun possession charge for last month's incident when he argued with teammate Gilbert Arenas and brought an unloaded handgun to the basketball team's locker room.

Crittenton was sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation and required to perform community service through the NBA'S Haiti project and through a children's organization in Washington, D.C., the U.S. attorney's office said.

"The charges filed today against Javaris Crittenton and his subsequent plea represent another disappointing development in what has already been a long and frustrating process for the team, the NBA and, most importantly, our fans," the Wizards said in a statement.

"Javaris clearly used very bad judgment in this situation and will now face the consequences of his actions."

Arenas, 28, who has been suspended from the team, faces a tentative sentencing date of March 26 after pleading guilty on January 15 to felony weapons possession for bringing four guns to the locker room. He faces up to six months in prison under his plea deal.

In late December, Crittenton and Arenas became involved in a heated argument after a card game. Arenas said he was too old to fistfight and threatened to shoot Crittenton in the face, according to court documents.

Crittenton, 22, responded that he would shoot Arenas, a three-time All-Star guard, in his surgically-repaired knee.

On December 21, Crittenton arrived at the Verizon Center, where the team plays in downtown Washington, to receive medical treatment and to attend practice.

CONCERNED ABOUT THREAT

According to Crittenton, before he left his home in Virginia, he placed a lawfully owned, unloaded handgun into his backpack because he believed that Arenas would carry out his threat to shoot him that day.

Once Crittenton entered the locker room, he put his backpack in his locker and went to another room to see team trainers.

When Crittenton returned to the locker room, he saw Arenas walking away from the area in front of Crittenton's locker. On a chair in front of Crittenton's locker, Arenas had placed several handguns and a piece of paper with the message "PICK 1."

According to Crittenton, he believed that Arenas intended Crittenton to select a firearm that Arenas would carry out his threat to shoot Crittenton. Arenas has said he put the guns on the chair as part of a practical joke.

Crittenton then told Arenas he had his own gun, he took his handgun out of his backpack and he showed it to Arenas.

Crittenton has voluntarily surrendered the handgun to law enforcement authorities. Crittenton has no criminal record, has never been arrested and has cooperated with authorities, prosecutors said.

(Editing by Philip Barbara)

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