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Javaris Crittenton, former Wizard, arrested in Atlanta murder case

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - Former NBA player Javaris Crittenton was in police custody after being arrested at a Southern California airport to board a flight to Atlanta, where his lawyer said he would go to surrender in a murder case.

Crittenton was suspended for 38 games while he was with the Wizards for carrying a gun into the team's locker room. (Photo: Associated Press)

Crittenton, who was suspended from the league for having guns in a locker room with teammate Gilbert Arenas, was arrested Monday evening at John Wayne Airport in Orange County after checking in for a redeye Delta Air Lines flight, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said. She said he was with a male companion who was not arrested.

He is expected to make his first court appearance in Los Angeles on Wednesday following his arrest in connection with a fatal shooting in Atlanta.

Jane Robison of the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said Tuesday that prosecutors expect to charge him Wednesday with being a fugitive from justice and he may be arraigned later in the day at the downtown criminal courts building.

Crittenton, 23, was wanted on a federal arrest warrant after the FBI learned that he traveled on a one-way ticket to Los Angeles, where he was known to have family and friends, several days after a deadly Aug. 19 shooting.

Crittenton's attorney told the Associated Press earlier Monday that his client planned to surrender. He said he was in contact with Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard and the FBI Fugitive Task Force to make arrangements for Crittenton's arrest.

"He offered to turn himself in," lawyer Brian Steel said. "He's not guilty. We look forward to getting it to the courts."

Eimiller said she wasn't aware of any negotiation for Crittenton to surrender.

Police in Atlanta had obtained a murder warrant for Crittenton in the Aug. 19 shooting of 22-year-old Jullian Jones, a mother of four young children, as she was walking with two men. Police believe one of the men with her was the target.

Police spokesman Carlos Campos had said the motive appears to be retaliation for a robbery in April, in which Crittenton was a victim.
When he was with the Washington Wizards in December 2009, Crittenton and Arenas had a dispute over a card game on a team flight. Two days later, Arenas brought four guns to the locker room and set them in front of Crittenton's locker with a sign telling him to "PICK 1." Crittenton then took out his own gun.

Crittenton pleaded guilty in January 2010 to a misdemeanor gun charge and received a year of unsupervised probation. Arenas entered his guilty plea on Jan. 15. He served a short time in a halfway house.

Crittenton is on the roster of the NBA developmental league's Dakota Wizards.

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Associated Press writer Denise Petski contributed to this report.

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