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Arenas spared jail for gun incident

From staff writer Paul Duggan at the D.C. Superior Courthouse

Washington Wizards star guard Gilbert Arenas was spared a jail sentence Friday when a judge sentenced him to probation for bringing guns into the Verizon Center, ending a high-profile locker room confrontation with a teammate that changed the makeup of the team and Washington-area sports.

D.C. Superior Court Judge Robert B. Morin issued the sentence after a 100-minute hearing before a packed courtroom,

Morin sentenced Arenas to 18 months in jail, but suspended that part of the sentence. He ordered the star to serve two years probation to begin with 30 days in a halfway house, He also ordered Arenas to serve 400 hours of community service and pay a $5,000 contribution to a crime victim's fund.

Corrections officials will determine in the next few days what halfway house he will be assigned to. Once there, Arenas will stay overnight, but be allowed to leave during the day to serve his community service.

Arenas, wearing a blue suit, yellow shirt, blue tie and blue suede loafers, stood up to speak about an hour and 10 minutes into the proceeding, walked quietly to the microphone and apologized: "I am very sorry that all this happened. Every day I wake up wishing it didn't."

The sentencing climaxed a tumultuous winter for Arenas, one of Washington’s best-paid and most recognizable athletes — his future now uncertain after a dispute over a card game escalated into the chest-thumping display of handguns in the Wizards locker room with Javaris Crittenton, a third-year NBA journeyman who was making $1.4 million this season, to Arenas’s $16.2 million. The two have been suspended without pay for the remainder of the season.

Morin said he weighed several factors in issuing his sentence, including the fact that Arenas's guns were legally registered in Virginia, even if they were not in D.C. He also pointed out that Arenas had no history of violence and that there is no evidence the guns were loaded.

Although Arenas’s Jan. 15 guilty plea ended a highly publicized police investigation that roiled the Wizards for nearly a month, the case was far from over for the three-time all-star. On Friday, with his freedom in the balance, the courtroom debate focused on his motive for bringing the guns into the locker room, the severity of his crime, whether he has fully owned up to what he did, and how much contrition he has shown.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh, in seeking the three-month jail term, and Kenneth L. Wainstein, in pleading for probation, echoed arguments they made in sentencing memos filed in court Tuesday. One portrayed Arenas as a lighthearted prankster who sometimes “regrettably” carries jokes too far; the other cast him as a petulant superstar bent on intimidating a marginal bench player who had “disrespected” him in front of their teammates.

Describing his client as “a peaceful man” who is “fundamentally very decent and unfailingly kind,” Wainstein said in his memo that Arenas’s “somewhat offbeat” sense of humor is rooted in his childhood, when he used laughter to mask his emotional pain while growing up poor. In this case, the lawyer said, “a very misguided attempt to play a prank” has been overblown by the media and misconstrued by authorities as thuggish bullying by Arenas.

“From the first moments after the incident, Mr. Arenas took actions that evinced a willingness to accept personal responsibility,” Wainstein wrote, saying that Arenas, when he realized he had broken the law, “chose to admit his offense, turn over his firearms and face the consequences.”

But Kavanaugh’s memo paints a different picture, alleging that Arenas, in a pattern of “obstructive conduct,” has lied and offered half-truths to Wizards management and the public about what took place in the locker room Dec. 21, and at one point tried to enlist Crittenton and a team official in a coverup of the confrontation.

In trying to make his crime seem less significant, Arenas’s “self-serving, ever-evolving” story “defies logic and credulity,” the prosecutor wrote. He said Arenas, for example, has yet to come completely clean about when and why he brought the four guns into Verizon Center, even though he would face no further charges.

Arenas initially said that he stored the guns in his locker before Dec. 21 to keep them away from his three small children at home in Great Falls. He said he displayed them to Crittenton as a spontaneous prank — not a calculated attempt at intimidation.

Kavanaugh scoffed at Arenas’s story of a spur-of-the-moment joke, however, saying a wealth of evidence shows that he brought the four guns into the locker room on the morning of the incident, having planned the confrontation before he got there.
For the purpose of his plea deal, the two sides settled on an admission by Arenas that he carried “at least one firearm” into Verizon Center that day. In his memo, Wainstein acknowledged that his client “brought four guns into the District of Columbia” at some point, but did not specify when.

Kavanaugh argued that Arenas’s willingness “to color the truth and shade the facts” to create “what is, for him, a better and more convenient story” indicates that he “has not truly accepted responsibility for his actions” and, as a consequence, deserves to spend time behind bars.

Both sides agree on what led to the gun incident — a loud argument between the two players on a red-eye charter flight that landed at Dulles International Airport early Sunday, Dec. 20, following a Wizards loss in Phoenix the night before. With their teammates looking on, Arenas and Crittenton berated and threatened each other over a card-game debt, a dispute that continued on a bus carrying the team from the plane to a terminal.

Arenas threatened to shoot Crittenton and burn or blow up his Cadillac Escalade, while Crittenton threatened to shoot Arenas in his surgically repaired left knee, according to court filings. “We’ll see on Monday,” witnesses quoted Arenas as saying, referring to the team’s scheduled practice the next morning.

The question of how many guns Arenas brought to Verizon Center that day and how many, if any, already were in his locker might never be settled. He has acknowledged putting a revolver and three semiautomatics on a chair by Crittenton’s locker before practice Monday with a note reading, “PICK 1.” Crittenton also brought a gun to work that day, a semiautomatic, and he took it out, while others in the locker room fled, some “out of sheer fear,” Kavanaugh wrote.

The confrontation soon lost steam, and the men put away their firearms, Arenas stashing his in a suitcase that a team security officer later ferried to the player’s home.
As for Arenas’s intent, Wainstein wrote that his client “has never been motivated by malice.”

But Kavanaugh said, “In the confined quarters of an airplane, a younger, junior player disrespected [Arenas] in front of the entire team.” The superstar, the public face of the Wizards, “Agent Zero,” in the second season of a six-year, $111-million contract, “believed he had no choice but to respond. And he did.”

This is Arenas’s second trip through the criminal justice system on a firearm charge. In June 2003 — the summer he left the Golden State Warriors to join the Wizards as a free agent — he was arrested near San Francisco after police saw a .40-caliber pistol on the floor of his car during a routine traffic stop. The gun was registered in Arizona, but not in California. Arenas pleaded no contest to a charge of illegal gun possession and was placed on probation for two years.

By Washington Post editors  |  March 26, 2010; 4:06 PM ET
Categories:  From the Courthouse , Paul Duggan , The District  
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Comments

What a crock ... if this had been John Doe, he would have already been serving jail time.

Posted by: Viennacommuter1 | March 26, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

FIRST!

Two years of probation ain't gonna void no contract!

Posted by: mabkhar | March 26, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

So another high-paid athlete get's off, pretty much without consequence. What a shame.

Posted by: netsurf12 | March 26, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Another classic example of an athlete receiving special treatment. A normal citizen would spend at least a year in jail and would've lost his job.

Posted by: randysbailin | March 26, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

This shows how one sided the criminal justice system is. If this had been Mr Average citizen, the outcome would have been completely different.

This just goes to show you, that the "justice" system. Should be called "how much money" you have system.

Posted by: too_real | March 26, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, a real crock! This guy is a Thug and should do jail time. I'm not going to support any team that has him!

Posted by: lsf07 | March 26, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Good luck to you Gilbert. Hope you do the right thing from here on out.

Posted by: go_wiz1 | March 26, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

At the face of this it is another high profile figure who got away with a crime. If it was any normal person you know they would be in jail. Money and star power trumps equal distribution of justice.

Posted by: mharbourcpa | March 26, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

There is a memo for verizon center staff that any fan making a gun finger gersture can be thrown out of the arena. But, a player can bring 4 real guns into th arena and not go to jail and keep his job.

Wizards: I am boycotting you. I am not paying 400 for lower level seats as long as Arenas is playing. And, no I am not buying your multi game package. Anybody who still goes to wizards games already prepaid for their tickets or they were free!

Posted by: Italiaxxx | March 26, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

If two years probation didn't set him straight after his first weapons conviction, what reason is there to think it will have any effect this time?
This sentence makes the District less safe. Why should any other gun felon fear jail if a recidivist avoids incarceration?
We don't need L.A.-style celebrity justice.

Posted by: ScotStone | March 26, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Why am I not surprised ???

Posted by: PracticalIndependent | March 26, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Second Time? and not punishment? Is this a case of a black man on Chocolate city? and/or a double standard in the justice system.

Posted by: hock1 | March 26, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

This sucks big time. If it were you or me, we'd be in jail. But not big time athletes. And a $5,000 fine for a millionaire? Give me a break.

This judge and prosecutor should resign or be removed. Period. This is NOT justice.

So I guess that means we can all start bringing guns into the Verizon Center with impunity!

Posted by: capone1 | March 26, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Who Cares????

Go Caps!!!

Posted by: SA-Town | March 26, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Criminal justice in D.C. is a joke as evidenced by Arenas with getting off with a light slap on the wrist. If Arenas was an average person, he would have done jail time, lost his job, and never had a chance to redeem himself.

I'll personally never take my son to see him play in a Wizards' uniform as he has brought shame to the franchise and to the memory of the late Mr. Pollin who abhored gun violence to such a degree that he changed the name of the team.

This is a sad day in the history of the District of Columbia.

Posted by: wizfan89 | March 26, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Surprising-- I'd think in DC, with a strong anti-gun stance, and Arena's past gun issues they'd have made him do some time as a statement.

Instead the statement remains as it always is: fame and fortune give you preferential treatment in America.

Posted by: TheGJ | March 26, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Good luck to Arenas? This guy doesn't need luck, he apparently can do anything he likes and no one can touch him.

Posted by: hock1 | March 26, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

hahaha - i see the American way all over this post... wishing the worst for people.. get over it.. sink them buckets agent zero!

Posted by: rockettonu | March 26, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I hope those 400 hours of community service don't involve exposing this wretched "role model" to children.

And, yes, it is time for the Wiz to void Zero's contract....zero more dollars for Zero a.k.a. Six.

One more thought on no jail time: I predict Zero will violate his probation in some way(s) and may well wind up in jail at that time.

Posted by: BlanketyBlank | March 26, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

The "justice" system has sent many innocent people to jail and even death. It is meant to punish those who violate laws on a case by case basis. Arenas didn't steal money, avert money, kill anyone, or truly and honestly threaten anyone. The punishment fits the crime. He isn't a danger to society. The justice system "works" when it reaches the conclusion/decision you want it to reach.

Posted by: Breal83 | March 26, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

If they would just cut his balls off and throw a little turpentine on it, he'd calm right down and behave.

Posted by: PercyKution | March 26, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

This shows how one sided the criminal justice system is. If this had been Mr Average citizen, the outcome would have been completely different.

This just goes to show you, that the "justice" system. Should be called "how much money" you have system.

Posted by: too_real | March 26, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse
Yes.It will be hard for the juge to evaluate mr. average person's motive to have a gun.From what we know about GA, the juge was comfortable to make that decision.The million dollar question is how much could Arenas learn from this?

Posted by: gtefferra | March 26, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

wishing bad things on people will only bring bad things to the wisher... yall will get yours..

Posted by: rockettonu | March 26, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Jail time would not have helped Gilbert. The dude needs counseling to deal with his damaged childhood. Anybody you grow up without your mother will for the most part cause you to have some character flaws.

I really think Gilbert "got it" this time. I think a real good person Gilbert needs to talk to is Tony Dungey. People make mistakes, time to forgive and move on....

Posted by: BulletsFever | March 26, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Definitely a crock, as others have said. Just another case of different "justice" because he's a celebrity. Arenas should have gotten jail time; he showed no remorse and thinks all this is one big joke.

Posted by: mensa58 | March 26, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Ugh here, people are just hoping for a man to go to jail. This is the ruling of America's legal system, if you don't like it and think it will it make DC more "dangerous", why don't you just go to another country. Or you can study law and actually have a true understanding on how sentencing is made.

Posted by: knowbow | March 26, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

So another high-paid athlete get's off, pretty much without consequence. What a shame.

Posted by: netsurf12 | March 26, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Another classic example of an athlete receiving special treatment. A normal citizen would spend at least a year in jail and would've lost his job.

Posted by: randysbailin | March 26, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Get real, the only reason this even went to trial was BECAUSE he was an athlete, and they wanted to make an example of him.

Posted by: BlueberryRuffin | March 26, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Jail time would not have helped Gilbert. The dude needs counseling to deal with his damaged childhood. Anybody who grew up without their mother will for the most part cause them to have some character flaws.

I really think Gilbert "got it" this time. I think a real good person Gilbert needs to talk to is Tony Dungey. People make mistakes, time to forgive and move on....

Posted by: BulletsFever | March 26, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Arenas is far from a Thug Isf.

Posted by: DMoney28 | March 26, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm not rooting for him to go to jail, but I'm not rooting for him as a basketball player either.

Posted by: dcmusician2 | March 26, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

What a joke!!

Posted by: psuvo | March 26, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I don't think I've seen this kind of outrage since O.J. beat those murder charges a few years back. I hope Gilbert get's his act together, get back to his old playing form and get that Verizon Center crowd cheering loud for the Wizards once again.

Posted by: akjproductions | March 26, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

What a wimpy judge. Enough said.

Posted by: jmpalomo | March 26, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Everyone... stop being HATING. We all know what Gilbert did was down right STUPID. But we all all know he is NOT a thug (if you really think he is a thug, you have not been watching the wizards closely for the past 5 years).

So, stop hating, and let's hope he can turn tragedy into triumph... I am pulling for you Gil!!!

Posted by: joeblizz | March 26, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I believe the punishment fit the so-call crime. Everyone out there that believe because he is a sports figure that's why he got the sentence, do me a favor read up on your law. Guns registered - checked, guns uloaded - checked, no prior criminal record - checked. Sentence probation checked. Any Joe Blow off the street could've got that sentence.

Sounds a lot like HaterAide to me.

Have a Bless and Happy Weekend..... I'm sure Agent Zero will..........

Posted by: hawk40 | March 26, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm intrigued this showed up in Crime...

First off, Gilbert's contract will not be voided. The penalty in the CBA says punishment for a gun-related offense, in the context of the NBA, is limited to suspension by the Commissioner. That's why the team has consistently said, they have a contract with Arenas, if he wants to play, it will have to be in DC.

Secondly, this is why you hire a GOOD criminal attorney (and why they cost a lot). A PD _will_ get you jail time. Someone like Wainstein won't. Mike Tyson went to jail after he hired Don King's tax attorney to defend him. Indiana had a better special prosecutor, and off Mike went.

Wrapping up, NYT had this up before WaPo. Someone couldn't cellphone the copy desk?

Posted by: gbooksdc | March 26, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mr. Leonis, when you finally purchase the Wizards and Verizon Center, please issue Gilbert Arenas' walking papers. Here's a dude making millions just to play basketball. I have seen him play. Good athlete. But as a principled man and leader? What a disappointment! But as in business, you shouldn't release a performance issue to another department. Pay out Gilbert's contract. Gilbert, retire from professional sports by the age of 30. Try being a good husband and a great father to your adorable children.

Posted by: TotallyInformed | March 26, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

One other thing: there are no vacancies in jail and the public isn't paying to build more, since they have to be built near SOMEBODY'S home (NIMBY, anyone?). So if you put Gilbert in jail, some hard core felon has to come out, not to mention some burglar or rapist or drug dealer won't go in. I'd rather have Gilbert on the street than a burglar or rapist.

Posted by: gbooksdc | March 26, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Does he "get" it? Time will tell. What the Wiz should do now - with a new owner that will hold players accountable - is a different story altogether.

Personally, I'd like to see the Wiz start from scratch - whole new team. Out with the old, in with the new. Draft a mix of younger players, sign some new young free agents and fill some key roles with experienced responsible veterans (if any exist these days).

Posted by: dc1020008 | March 26, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how many chances they actually give all these thugs? 3,4,5,6, times???? Where is the cut off before you actually get prison? The gun laws they were screeching about have no teeth. To be fair other criminals need to know too, and everyone deserves to know what to expect in our nations capitol. Taking a gun into the District obviously is no big deal. Have at it! Shoot 'em up, maybe clean the city out, for all I care. Hope they do cause nothing else has ever worked in this crime ridden place, soooo.....and this proves the judges are too sissy to be of any use, so ride em cowboys!

Posted by: Jackie18 | March 26, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

It's good to be Gilbert Arenas.
1. Guns not registered in D.C.
2. Prior conviction for same offense.
3. lying to investigators
Something tells me Joe Blow off the street doesn't get probation.

Posted by: swinging4thefence | March 26, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

i have no idea what the "average" sentence would be in this case. however, i am quite certain that the judge considered all the circumstances around this case and made his judgment accordingly. i'd like to know what a dc trial attorney thinks as opposed to those of us who couldn't wait to write their comments on the injustice. i'm no attorney and i'm satisfied with the judge's decision as long as it was comparable to similar cases. he still has to spend 30 days in a halfway house. that's pretty traumatic for someone who is used to going to sleep in his mansion with every amenity in the world. i am sure this experience has humbled him, and if it hasn't, he'll act out again and receive harsher treatment.

Posted by: papple | March 26, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

The dude made a horrible, stupid, ingnorant etc.. mistake by breaking this law. Which he did "break the law" but what was his intent? I dont think he intended to hurt anyone, and as dumb as this was the guy has done a lot for the community with charities and his foundation as well as helping the kid who lost his entire family in that fire a couple of years back. His celebrity status and charitable past just got him this (probably his) last break. We all if put in the same situation would only hope we would get this additional chance as well. Hopefully Gilbert recognizes this and stays on the positive path. If not he certainly will not get this chance again.

Posted by: 3ptShooter | March 26, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Another Kevin Johnson story - probably dating Michelle Rhee and a friend of the Obama's.

Laws?? We don't need no stinkin' laws!

If it were a Tea Party member walking across a street, he would have gotten jail time. But a thug waving a gun around and bragging about it on TV, then lying to police, and he gets nothing.

D.C. gone wild.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | March 26, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Anyone see the irony in Leonsis deal the day before the Arenas sentence? Leonsis bought at the moment the worth of the Zards was the least. Frankly, now with Arenas not serving jail time, the Zards are worth more, aren't they? And Arenas is here until the end of his nearly untradeable contract.

Lets just hope that Leonsis has the midas touch.

And another thing, who's going to be his roomate in what halfway-house?!

Posted by: boblas | March 26, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Everyone... stop being HATING. We all know what Gilbert did was down right STUPID. But we all all know he is NOT a thug (if you really think he is a thug, you have not been watching the wizards closely for the past 5 years).

So, stop hating, and let's hope he can turn tragedy into triumph... I am pulling for you Gil!!!

-----

Maybe he can serve his "halfway house" time in your home?

Posted by: glazer68 | March 26, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Well, I guess a prior conviction and tougher gun laws get people off scott free... I am not surprised by this in the least! people with money find ways to beat the system. I am shocked simply because he had a prior gun charge. it shows a pattern. This explains how DC is run and why DC (Judicial system) is a joke. Is he dangerous or a criminal no but this now sets a precedence for everyone coming up on gun charges. this case alone is now going to be referenced by every defense attorney in DC. Correct, the ave joe would have done time, no question.. fired from his job etc... not and athlete... and that is the shame part of it. Gilbert gets off scott free and gets to keep his job making millions... for breaking the law!

Posted by: rvanags | March 26, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

"Personally, I'd like to see the Wiz start from scratch - whole new team. Out with the old, in with the new. Draft a mix of younger players, sign some new young free agents and fill some key roles with experienced responsible veterans (if any exist these days)."
______________________________________

Looks like that is exactly what the Wizards have/are doing. Add Gilbert will be one of those veterans to fill a key hole which is to score points. (now if we could just cover the responsible part?)

Posted by: digger76 | March 26, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

I think the NBA has returned to the pre-Bird & Magic era of the late 1970's - when the "me" generation was alive and well.

About the only team that played as a team that decade, was ironically, Lez Boulez. Played in four championship series and won one.

Posted by: dc1020008 | March 26, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

"Personally, I'd like to see the Wiz start from scratch - whole new team. Out with the old, in with the new. Draft a mix of younger players, sign some new young free agents and fill some key roles with experienced responsible veterans (if any exist these days)."

-----

Maybe they could move to Seattle. Doesn't Seattle need a basketball team?

Posted by: glazer68 | March 26, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

It's great to be more equal than others!

Posted by: jwalter6 | March 26, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like the GOP leading this blog....
Do the right thing Gil.....

Posted by: bossclifnpooh2 | March 26, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

WTF. I hope Wizard mgmt get rid of him

Posted by: K2007 | March 26, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Back @gbooksdc...though I agree with you in part Indiana did not have a good prosecutor in Mike Tyson's case. I am from Indiana and happen to know that Judge Patricia Griffin enforced the full contents of the law. Mike Tyson was convicted based on the law of sodomy in Indiana. Most people dont realize thats why he did jail time. Mike Tyson's victim recvd 22 stitches and hospitalization behind that incident. Gilbert Arenas has a very good lawyer. You would be surprised of the judges and lawyers that played golf together.

Posted by: cadaja03 | March 26, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

"What a crock ... if this had been John Doe, he would have already been serving jail time."

No, not really, Crittenton has already gotten off with probation only, and he isn’t as rich (or famous) as Arenas. Apparently, many people (including the prosecutor) just want to use Arenas to set an example, and that is really what you guys are complaining about.

Posted by: sagaliba | March 26, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

GOOD. No jail time.

Gilbert is an idiot. He's a goofball. He's a narcissist. He craves adoration and fame. He's a nutcase.

He's also a philanthropist. Incredibly generous with his money AND his heart AND his time for people who need help. He's rich, and he acts rich and spends money, but he also SHARES it. Being rich shouldn't be a factor in sentencing, either way, just as being poor shouldn't be a factor.

The judge WISELY determined that he isn't a danger. The guns were a stupid, childish joke. He didn't bring them to shoot or threaten anybody. Such gold-plated enormous hardware are for display only. He didn't even own ammo. Criminal intent is utterly lacking in this case. He's not a gangsta or gangbanger.

Probation is reasonable. If Gilbert spits on the sidewalk, he's going to jail.

THANK you for reasoned justice.

Posted by: digtlartst | March 26, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Come on! All you people act like you know exactly what kind of verdicts judges in DC dole out. Do you really know that an average Joe would do serious jail time for possessing an unregistered gun in DC? I highly doubt it. I think Gil has been punished quite enough. Let's move on, PLEASE.

Posted by: NedScharpf | March 26, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Ah yes, finally a judge with a sense of humor, he got the joke. How refreshing. I don't understand the tolerance in our society for gunplayers and drunken drivers. Both will eventually hurt someone because they get off with wrist slaps. Can't wait to see the viedo of Gilbert laughing and high fiving his lawyers.

Posted by: Natmeister | March 26, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Let's put things in perspective. How much jail time did Crittenton get? Furthermore, I remember when Latrell Sprewell choked his head coach, P.J. Carlesimo, got pulled away by his teammates and then came back and struck Carlesimo again.

Latrell got suspended for the remainder of the season, but didn't do any jail time. As amatter of fact "Spree" went on to play another eight years in the NBA.

I'm not apologizing for Gil. But to compare bringing empty guns to a locker room with Sprewell's act [and Ron Artest's actions at the Palace] and some of Iverson's actions as a young player, is no comparison at all.

Watch how quickly this resentment against Gilbert all fades away when Agent Zero puts up 50 against the Cavs next year.

Posted by: musicmanjr | March 26, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I hear everyone saying the average person would have received time. Well, if you follow the justice system in DC not only do most of the people that are arrested for having a gun walk, they also have fired the weapon and they are illegal. This is not the case of a wealthy athlete getting over. This is the case of the DC justice system not giving a f@ck.

Posted by: elowe0610 | March 26, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

"A PD _will_ get you jail time."

Actually, in DC, this is not true, and I really wish more people knew that it wasn't true. The DC Public Defender's Service is one of the best offices in the country. You are much, much better off with a PDS attorney than you are with almost any private defense counsel. There are a few really good DC defense attorneys, but they will cost you a lot of $$$. If you're in a situation where you get assigned someone from PDS, you can't afford these people.

DC Public Defenders are generally young, aggressive, and very competent, unlike the washed-up, worn-out private attorneys who get appointed to represent indigent defendants (i.e. ones who can't afford an attorney). They get better training and support than just about any other defense attorneys in DC. In a few years, once they have made names for themselves, PDS alums will be the ones who receive top-dollar retainers and hourly fees to represent the Gilberts of the world.

So, in DC, if you get a Public Defender, sorry you got arrested, but you really lucked out with your attorney assignment.

Posted by: bucky_katt | March 26, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Have no fear Mr Arenas, do whatever you want from now on, neither the Wizards nor the District will ever do anything to you! You are their golden boy! All this big to-do in the media for months now about, "OMG Arenas is in big trouble"! "This could happen, that could happen", Hogwash! Hahahahahahaha! What a joke and you knew it all the time, they not gonna touch you!
Wilbon, Wise and all the rest are alarmists, you sure showed em didn't you Gil! Hey, hope you get back on the blog soon, I've missed it, man! I'll know better next time than to read that alarmist phony garbage

Posted by: Jackie18 | March 26, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

He should have gone to jail for a year.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | March 26, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

The first question is, is the NBA better off with or without Gilbert? He is a wonderful basketball player, but lacks maturity. With that said, I think the NBA would be better with him in the game. My prayers are with you Gilbert.

Posted by: concorde011 | March 26, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I didn't see this much commotion when Senator Webb (VA) brought a loaded gun to the United States Capitol. He didn't even get charged. So, I can see how yall are saying the system is so unfair. Get over it already!

Posted by: Walkernupe2 | March 26, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Stop saying the guns were legally registered in Virginia!! Virginia does not have gun registration laws.

Posted by: cr10 | March 26, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Any wonder why the socioeconomic progress of The American Black Man is stymied? Role models never have to be held accountable for their actions.

Posted by: williamhuxtan | March 26, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Great! Community service and probation was the correct sentence in this case. Even the halfway house is riduculous. Why waste the taxpayers $$? Increase the fine to $100k which would put more $$ in the tax pool. There was no malicious intent on Arenas' part. Just an immature prank gone awry. Hopefully he will grow and mature as a man.

Posted by: garrybrown | March 26, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

cr10, guns are registered in every State as long as you buy them from a gun dealer. If you buy it from a friend or on the streets, they're of course, not registered.

Posted by: Walkernupe2 | March 26, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Wise up, @assclowns. It costs a bundle to keep a prisoner incarcerated, so jailing somebody who committed a marginal crime in which nobody got hurt is just soaking taxpayers. It'd be even more expensive to jail a celebrity athlete, because you'd have to keep him in administrative segregation all the time.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | March 26, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

The judge was fair. Anyone who says Gilbert is being shown special treatment is ignoring what the judge actually did.

Imposing and suspending 18 months of jail time with two years of probation is not the same as just letting Gilbert off the hook. Four hundred hours of community service (the equivalent of full time work for ten weeks) is not letting Gibert off the hook. Just because Gilbert will not go to jail (unless he messes up his probation), does not mean he was not punished.

According to the blog, "Morin said he weighed several factors in issuing his sentence, including the fact that Arenas's guns were legally registered in Virginia, even if they were not in D.C. He also pointed out that Arenas had no history of violence and that there is no evidence the guns were loaded."

In other words -- the judge recognized that Gilbert is not really a bad actor yet he still punished him for breaking the law. That is fair. People who want more than that must have some other agenda.

Posted by: post-darwinism | March 26, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

To everyone who has commented that the "average Joe" would have received a harsher sentence: You have no idea what you are talking about. His sentence was right in line with what anyone could expect from a similar charge, similar facts, and a similar criminal history. The fact is, Gilbert has lost WAY more already in money and reputation than the average Joe ever would have due to this incident. The Judge was fair, and anyone with legal experience in D.C. will tell you the same thing.

Posted by: cooooooley | March 26, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

The sentence is reasonable. But now it's time for the Wizards to terminate his contract and move on. Let another team pay his mega salary.

Posted by: rag91354 | March 26, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Another thug escapes the consequences of his criminal acts once again. Ah well, no different from the thievery with the health care bill. Criminals of all stripes are roaming the streets of Washington DC tonight. D.C. is a digusting entity from the locals to the Feds.

Posted by: JamesChristian | March 26, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh, notice what an idiot evidently Judge Morin is too. Virginia doesn't even have gun registration, but the judge gave credit to Arenas for registering his guns in Virginia????? That's what the above story says he did! Hahahahahaha!

Posted by: Jackie18 | March 26, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I am soo mad that another black athlete did not get jail time for doing something stupid because I am a regular joe who is not rich and famous and envy these guys for being so and if i had done the same thing I would have gone to jail so they should send Gilbert to jail so I can feel better about being a regular joe. Most of you white suburbanites know damm well if you had caught the same charge you would have called your mom and dad and they would have called the family lawyer and you would have been given the same sentence that gilbert got. So shut up. Reality is if you were a regular joe black guy from the hood you would have gone to jail because your mom and dad probably does not have a family lawyer on retainer like you suburban yuppies do. So shut up with all that whining. How many regular joes could afford to lose a million dollars? You people are miserable retards.

Posted by: ged0386 | March 26, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Any wonder why the socioeconomic progress of The American Black Man is stymied? Role models never have to be held accountable for their actions.

Just like alll the African Americans on the Hll......HuH?

Posted by: bossclifnpooh2 | March 26, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

all you jealous crackers can go straight to hell.

way to handle your business Gil!

Posted by: nivla | March 26, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert didn't bring the guns to shoot or threaten anybody. He left the EMPTY guns as a joke for Crittendon to "PICK1" to SHOOT GILBERT, since Crittendon had "threatened" to shoot Gilbert in the knee. No one hurt, no shots fired. He didn't "brandish" the weapons, he laid them out for Crittendon.

The cops know it was all a stupid, childish prank, but Gilbert has already paid dearly for it. Criminalizing this stupidity to the extreme by putting him in jail would be a travesty. How would that protect the community or be apt punishment? Yes, he broke the law, so he has to pay with community service and probation.

Posted by: digtlartst | March 26, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

The necks are out in full force and they are stinkin mad. First O.J now this. He did not get jail time necks. Get over it. Now go pack your gun and head on over to macaroni grill for dinner and a cocktail. And if you want to see some criminal behavior in DC just go to Adams Morgan on a saturday night.

Posted by: ged0386 | March 26, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

My greatest hope for this young man is that he spend his 30 days reflecting on the vast difference between being "sorry all this happened" and being SORRY HE DID WRONG. Only in the latter instance will he have truely accepted OWNERSHIP of this mess. And only after that can he grow to be a responsible adult.

Posted by: DCtoDE | March 26, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Again, I didn't see this much commotion when Senator Webb (VA) brought a loaded gun to the Capitol. He didn't even get charged. So, I can see how yall are saying the system is so unfair. Get over it already!

Haters...

Posted by: Walkernupe2 | March 26, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

JamesChristian

How about talking to Big Ben and teaching that yankee how to keep little ben in his pants instead of getting angry about gilbert and DC. If you dont like DC stay your punk butt home in VA where all the necks live.

Posted by: ged0386 | March 26, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

If I were Arenas, I would have a discrimination case going in about .5 seconds. Maybe even file a civil rights case. There has to be a phalanx of lawyers who would take this in a heartbeat.

How does Jim Webb's aide get off with having an illegal gun in DC and Arenas gets all this?

Because he is black? Because Webb's aide was white and connected? Was Lanier afraid of Webb?

Posted by: VirginiaConservative | March 26, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

If I was a criminal in a DC court on a Gun possession charge, I'd say, "I better get the same deal as Arenas"

DC is such a corrupt place that the rich and famous get off while the average Joe gets the book thrown at them.

Posted by: AlbyVA | March 26, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I READ THESE POST A LOT BUT NEVER RESPONDED BCUZ OF IDIOTS LIKE "GLAZER 68'S" COMMENTS! BUT NOW I FEEL THE NEED TO SAY SOMETHING! SO BARE WITH ME AS I TAKE MY 15 MINS. AND STAND ON MY SOAP BOX!

I'VE READ ALL YOUR COMMENTS FROM THE TOP DOWN TO MINE AND I HAVE COME TO THIS CONCLUSION. I TOO AM NOT HAPPY WITH THE LEGAL SYSTEM IN THIS COUNTRY.....NOR DO I THINK WHAT GIL GOT WAS FAIR....HE SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN JAIL TIME IF THAT'S WHAT THE LAW STIPULATES, BUT DAMN....YOU ALL ACT LIKE THIS MAN DATED YOUR WIFE AND BEAT YOUR KIDS AND TOOK THEIR LUNCH MONEY OR SOMETHING!

LOOK, YOU HAVE POLITICIANS IN THIS TOWN (AND NOT---SARA PALIN KILLING MOOSES) DOING FAR WORSE SHHHHH@! THAN GIL DID AND THEY DON'T EVEN GET AN EYE LASH BATTED IN THEIR DIRECTION! SURE, U HAVE A FEW THAT END UP IN THE NEWS, BUT NOT NEARLY AS MANY THAT SHOULD BE! THEY LIE,STEAL, AND COMMIT ADULTERY ALL THE TIME! YOU HAVE PEOPLE OUT HERE SHOOTING/ROBBING/ AND STEALING AND ONLY GETTING A FEW MONTHS IN JAIL FOR IT! SO WHERE DO YOUR PRIORITIES REALLY LAY? DO THEY LAY ON "LIFE CHANGING CRIME", (POLITICIANS/REGULAR PPL) OR DO THEY LAY ON "FUN CRIME" (GILBERT PLAYING A JOKE ON A TEAMMATE BY BRINGING "UNLOADED" GUNS TO WORK.....WHO CARES)? GRANTED, SOME OF US WOULD HAVE GOTTEN FIRED AND SOME OF US WOULDN'T, BUT UNLESS YOU CAN PUT A ROUND SPHERE IN A HOLE MORE THAN THE AVERAGE CITIZEN, THEN SHUT UP AND GO BACK TO YOUR "REGULAR" JOBS THAT YOU ARE BLESSED TO HAVE IN THE FIRST PLACE IN THIS ECONOMY. DON'T HATE GIL BCUZ SOCIETY (SPORTS WORLD) BLESSED HIM WITH THE MONEY HE IS GETTING. SOMETHING TELLS ME IF IT WERE ANY OF YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THAT NEGOTIATING TABLE WITH A PEN, YOU WOULD BE SIGNING YOUR NAME FASTER THAN FLY'S ON SHINOLA!

SO SINCE GLAZER68 WANTED TO MAKE THIS RACIAL....SINCE YOU "GUYS/GALS" ARE ALL NUMBERS PPL.....CHECK THE NUMBER OF PPL THAT ARE WHITE TO THE NUMBER OF BLACKS IN JAIL, AND THEN CHECK THE NUMBER OF PPL THAT HAVE BEEN WRONGFULLY ACCUSED IN JAIL TOO. THEN TALK TO ME ABOUT A FAIR JUSTICE SYSTEM AFTER YOU FIND THAT OUT.

YOU GUYS SEEMED TO HAVE FORGOTTEN WHAT POSSITIVE THINGS GIL HAS DONE FOR THIS AREA, BUT I GUESS WHEN YOU MAKE A MISSTAKE IN LIFE....THE POSSITIVE THINGS YOU'VE DONE DON'T EVEN MATTER ANYMORE. YOU GUYS ARE ALL "PERFECT" PEOPLE.....RIGHT? I THINK THE KID HE ADOPTED WHEN HIS FAMILY BURNED TO DEATH IN A FIRE IN D.C. THINKS THE WORLD OF HIM!

3PtSHOOTER SAID IT BEST! ENUFF SAID
NOW, AM I AN "N" WORD FOR SAYING ALL THIS?

MY 15MINS. ARE UP....I'M OFF MY SOAP BOX NOW!

Dageez In Waldorf,Md

Posted by: DAGEEZ | March 26, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

And Delonte West plays on, eh Commish? Good thing Gil didn't point that a gun at a dog or he'd be in Fed Pen for two years. But he just pointed it at a human so no biggie. We're talkin about people here! Not dogs, people!

Posted by: ZeroHero0 | March 26, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

The sentence that Gilbert Arenas received was not the result of any celebrity treatment. In fact had Arenas not been a celebrity, he probably would not have been made to plea to a felony gun charge. The 30 day "halfway house" sentence is really greater than what most judges would have given most defendants with the same record on the same charge. Judge Morin was fair and justice is served by the sentence imposed upon Mr. Arenas.

Posted by: ellislawoffice | March 26, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

VirginiaConservative

The aide got off because the gun was registered to Jim Webb! He didn't even know it was in Webb"s briefcase. He was asked to retrieve it from his car. Since Jim Webb doesn't have to go through the metal detectors, he had no issues until his aide was busted. Bottom line, no crime and no charges but there was no outrage, why? We know th eanswer to that, nuff said!

Lanier wasn't afraid of Webb, the AG was? The same one that asked for jail time, loser!

Posted by: Walkernupe2 | March 26, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Hey people, If you are not mad at Sen Webb's aid for bringing a gun and amo to the capital and did not get jail time why get mad about Gilbert Arenas? Isn't that the same crime? Why be mad at all? Is this in any way affecting your life? No. Yes the system is only unfair when a black athlete does not go to jail for something he did. Meanwhile Big Ben has two people accusing him of rape and law enforcement is looking for a way to keep from charging him. And I dont hear a peep from you same people about it day in and day out. Had that been Ben Wallace instead of Ben Rothlensberger you people would be crying foul if he were not facing charges. This is the only time white people cry foul. When a black person does not go strait to jail for whatever he is accused of. Call me racist for saying it if you wish, I could care less, Its the truth.

Posted by: ged0386 | March 26, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert Arenas appears to be a very respectful, sincere and humble young man... I'm VERY PLEASED with the outcome (NO JAIL TIME...)

Posted by: Borne2Win | March 26, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

DAGEEZ, get a life (and how about taking an English class or two?)
========================================================================================
Guess they should be called the Bullets. Calling all criminals, bring your guns anywhere you want into DC (even facility that holds 20,000+ people. How about a library or park next time? You will get community service and a $5,000 fine (did Gill pull it out in court from his pants - $5,000 wouldn't even need to go in his wallet - or did he at least wait to send it through his attorneys to make a good impression?). A second time offender gets probation for a felony? Really? Was that a judge or the O.J. jury? I guess the jails are full and keeping him separated would be too costly? THIS IS A JOKE!!!!!!

Posted by: KDSmallJr | March 26, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

One the one hand, I feel like Arenas received a less severe sentence than would the average Joe facing the same charge, simply because Arenas is a big-name sports star and he can afford the best attorneys money can buy.

On the other hand, Agent Zero's reckless stupidity has already cost him millions of dollars in lost salary and endorsements, not to mention his public reputation and all that money he is paying his legal team to avoid the jail time.

So when all is said and done, I'm not sure if justice has been done or not. Maybe in another year or so we can all look back and find a better perspective on this whole ugly saga.

Posted by: niceFLguy | March 26, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Funny how the racists are singing a different tune now. First it was, poor Gilbert, he's only going to serve jail time because he's black. He made a mistake, wah, wah, wah.

Now when he gets off with the typical athlete treatment(white or black), the racists rejoice and bring up misleading information.

I did a little research on Jim Webb, his aide brought a gun, not him.

Facts go a long way. And the fact is, Jim Webb's aide should have received jail time, and Gilbert should have received jail time. Because if it were me doing the same thing, I'd be going away for a long time.

What a racist piece of crap too, why does someone have to be a "neck" if they don't disagree. I love people with double standards. Do me a favor, go to your garage, start your car, and await further instructions. We need to rid the people of racists like you.

Posted by: RobInVaBeach | March 26, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

VirginiaConservative

How clever, Had webb not been a democrat you would not be defending Gilbert Arenas in regards to his race by using Webb's aid as a baseline. Interesting how your loath for democrats who violate the law exceeds your loath for black athletes who do. We all know how you think at this point. You have been on these blogs too long to make any of us believe that you really feel for gilbert. Your argument just fits your anti Jim Webb(D)-VA agenda. Dont mean to insult you but I just dont see you as a champion for the rights of minorities in the criminal justice system.

Posted by: ged0386 | March 26, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

RobInVaBeach
You did some research, please, repeat that step and start over. Sen. Webb acknowledged the gun was his and that he was catching a flight out of DC and remembered that he left his gun in his car. So, he asked his aide to retrieve it and take it to his office; unfortunately, aides can't walk around the metal detectors in the Capitol so he was busted and locked up for a couple of nights...but of course, no charges, no trail, nor plea, go figure!

Posted by: Walkernupe2 | March 26, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

RobInVaBeach

Sorry, you got it wrong, you are not a neck for disagreeing you are a neck for being a neck. Most people who are racist dont come out and admit it, they are subtle and use their words carefully. You know, like how most anti Obama people come up with every excuse as to why they hate him so much except his race. Then when you point out their hatred towards him and his family then you are racist because you cut straight to the point and they were to cowardly to do so. Then they accuse you of being racist for calling them racist because they dont agree with him. See how that works? People do it all the time. This is not new. So stop playing dumb.

Posted by: ged0386 | March 26, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Okay, RobInVaBeach, I was not completely right so I acknowledge my memory is not what it used to be...but I know fair play and I smelled fish on this one...must be the Tea Party going on!
Thompson, 44, a longtime friend of Webb's and the senator's executive assistant, was jailed pending an appearance today in D.C. Superior Court. He was charged with carrying a pistol without a license and possessing an unregistered firearm and unregistered ammunition.
The gun was discovered at 10:30 a.m. when Thompson arrived at the C Street entrance of the Russell Senate Office Building, according to Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, a Capitol Police spokeswoman. An X-ray machine revealed the gun in a briefcase. Police also found two fully loaded magazines, officials said.
"I don't think he intended to harm anybody," Schneider said. "He was quite cooperative."
A Senate official familiar with the incident said Webb gave the gun to Thompson as Thompson drove the senator to an airport earlier in the day. When Thompson arrived at the Senate building, he forgot he was carrying the weapon, the official said.
Another source said that Webb's gun was in a briefcase that was supposed to be dropped off at a location in Virginia before Thompson came into the District.
Can anyon e tell me how much jail time Thompson received? Was he even charged with a crime? Did he make a plea? Did he receive probation? Where is the outrage folks? Exactly...

Posted by: Walkernupe2 | March 26, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

DAGEEZ, get a life (and how about taking an English class or two?)
========================================================================================
So now I have to get a life and take English classes huh KDSmallJR...... Y, is it "BCUZ I WUZ BEING 2 BLACK 4 U DAWG?" You only understand "THE KINGS" English CHAPPY?!?!?!?!

STFU, and take yo azz to a JayZ concert!

Posted by: DAGEEZ | March 26, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

w0w -

it's friday night and we have a free
minstral show !

many thanks dageez !

Posted by: tindal0s | March 26, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

w0w -

it's friday night and we have a free
minstral show !

many thanks dageez !

___________________________________________

if you say so.

Dageez in Waldorf,Md

Posted by: DAGEEZ | March 26, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Great - we love you Gil! You have done a lot for the community and I know you have learned from this, and the guns were NOT loaded anyway.

Posted by: washwiz | March 26, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Why can't the legislators just write the truth in sentencing laws? If you take a gun to the District and it's unloaded and you were only playing a prank, evidently it should be automatic "Case dismissed" or "no jail". Huh? Is that what the residents really want in the gun law? Then that's what the law should state. Otherwise, the Court is just making a mockery of the law. And that's what happened today. Either the law says what it means or it doesn't. Make up your mind people. The law should spell out what is expected, no excuses. They write laws and then disregard them for certain people. That's unconstitutional and the Judge should go to jail for being unfair to different people. He has no respect for the laws himself. Why should I?

Posted by: Jackie18 | March 26, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Im a US soldier that has served his country a few times. When i go through an airport in uniform, I have to take my boots off, and my dog tags off. Just for a security presence i guess. I was deployed with one weapon and that was all. Now we have a NBA player bringing several weapons to a public event. In a public event player or spectator i think that everyone should go through the same precautions. No matter what financial bracket they fall in. Thats all i got for right now now. I feel that that i had to say something about the matter.

Posted by: x_bbb1984_x | March 27, 2010 1:04 AM | Report abuse

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