Prosecutors: Arenas should spend three months in jail

Prosecutors recommended on Tuesday that Wizards star guard Gilbert Arenas spend three months in jail for bringing guns into the Verizon Center locker room.

Prosecutors also proposed that Arenas serve three years probation and perform 300 hours of community service.

The recommendations came in a sentencing memo to the court that is required in most criminal cases.

Arenas's formal sentencing is Friday.

In a scathing 61-page memo, Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh wrote that his office is seeking jail time primarily because Arenas initially provided inconsistent stories about why he had the guns in the locker room and that he never showed any remorse for his actions.

"The defendant's conduct since the time of the incident establishes that he has shown little genuine remorse for anything other than how this incident may affect his career," Kavanaugh wrote.

"If any other individual without fame, power and the wealth of this defendant, brought four firearms into the District for the purpose of a similar confrontation," the prosecutor wrote, "the government would seek their incarceration and the court would almost certainly give it."

Arenas pleaded guilty on Jan. 15 in D.C. Superior Court to a felony count of carrying a pistol without a license.

As part of a plea deal, prosecutors agreed not to ask for more than six months in jail. He has been free pending sentencing.

Superior Court Judge Robert E. Morin is not bound by the plea agreement -- a fact he emphasized in court in January -- and could sentence Arenas to anywhere from probation to a maximum five years in jail. The former all-star was released after agreeing to surrender his passport and not possess any handguns.

The charges stem from the now-infamous incident in the Wizards' locker room at Verizon Center on Dec. 21. At the hearing in January, Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Kavanaugh filled in some of the details of the confrontation between Arenas and teammate Javaris Crittenton, without mentioning Crittenton by name.

On Dec. 19, the team flew on a chartered flight to the Washington area from Phoenix. Arenas and Crittenton got into an argument over a card game. Crittenton suggested a fistfight. But Arenas said he was too old to fight and instead said he would burn Crittenton's vehicle or shoot him in the face. Crittenton then told Arenas he would "shoot the [expletive]" out of Arenas and shoot Arenas in his surgically repaired left knee. Arenas later told Wizards employees that he was joking about the threats.

On Dec. 21, at about 9:30 a.m., Arenas arrived at Verizon Center for practice. He came into the locker room wearing a black backpack with a silver Smith & Wesson .500 magnum revolver inside. He then placed four guns on the chair directly in front of Crittenton's locker. Arenas wrote "PICK 1" on a piece of paper and placed it on Crittenton's chair near the guns. Arenas said he also was joking about that.

When Crittenton saw the guns, he said, "What is this?"

Arenas told Crittenton, "You said you were going to shoot me, so pick one." Crittenton said he did not need Arenas's guns because he had his own. Crittenton picked up one of the guns from the chair and threw it across the locker room. Crittenton then displayed his own silver-colored, semiautomatic handgun, the prosecutor said.

After the incident, Arenas collected the guns, placed them inside his locker and then put them in a suitcase. He gave the suitcase to another Wizards teammate and told him to take it take it to Arenas's car in the garage. Prosecutors said there was no evidence that the teammate knew what was inside the suitcase.

When the unnamed teammate went to the garage, he did not know which vehicle belonged to Arenas. So the player left the suitcase in the garage. Minutes later, Wizards management learned about the incident and met with Arenas. He admitted he brought the guns from his home in Virginia into Washington. He also told management that Crittenton had a gun.

Wizards management then told security guards to grab the suitcase and remove it from Verizon Center. Arenas led a member of the security staff to the garage and pointed out the suitcase. The security officer then took the guns back to Virginia.

On Dec. 24, attorneys for the Wizards and Arenas told the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District about the incident. Authorities then seized the four guns from Arenas's house in Virginia, including the .500 magnum; a .50-caliber gold-plated semiautomatic Desert Eagle with a magazine; a .45-caliber, black semiautomatic Kimber Eclipse with a magazine; and a 9mm Browning with a magazine.

Crittenton pleaded guilty in D.C. Superior Court on Jan. 25 to a misdemeanor gun possession charge. He was sentenced to a year of unsupervised probation.

-- Keith L. Alexander

(This post has been updated from the original to include more information from the memo.)


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By Mike Semel  |  March 23, 2010; 12:08 PM ET
Categories:  From the Courthouse , Keith L. Alexander , The District Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Previous: Fake Facebook pregnancy announcement leads to hacking investigation

Comments

Wow! 3-months over being immature and stupid.

Posted by: oknow1 | March 23, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Like it or not sports players are role models. This is a very light sentence considereing what could have happened. I wish they would make more of an example of Arenas. He's really just a thug that got a chance to put on an NBA uniform.Hope he'll never be allowed to play pro sports again!

Posted by: lsf07 | March 23, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

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