WASHINGTON - Gilbert Arenas has a court date and an apparent plea deal is in place, signaling a possible quick resolution to at least one side of a guns-in-the-locker-room confrontation that stained the NBA and jeopardized Arenas' career.
Arenas was charged Thursday with felony gun possession – one count of carrying a pistol without a license – which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. The charges were filed in D.C. Superior Court in an “information,” a document that indicates a plea bargain has been reached.
The charge came from prosecutors and not in the form of an indictment – even though a grand jury has been investigating – and Arenas was listed on the docket for a court appearance this afternoon.
Arenas has acknowledged storing four unloaded guns in his locker at the Verizon Center, saying he wanted to keep them away from his young children. He says he took them out of the locker Dec. 21 in a “misguided effort to play a joke” on a teammate.
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The criminal charge came on the same day that the teammate, Javaris Crittenton, had his northern Virginia apartment searched by police looking for a silver- or chrome-colored semiautomatic handgun with a black handle. The search warrant indicated police were investigating crimes that include brandishing a weapon. No evidence was seized.
Two league officials have said a spat between Arenas and Crittenton began Dec. 19 while players were playing cards and gambling on the team plane during a flight home from a West Coast road trip. Their dispute became heated when the team reconvened for practice two days later. There have been conflicting published accounts as to whether Crittenton had a gun and whether he drew it on Arenas.