Former Los Angeles Lakers guard Javaris Crittenton waived his right to an extradition hearing today and will be transferred to Atlanta to face a murder charge stemming from the shooting death of a 22-year-old woman.
Georgia law enforcement officials allege Crittenton was actually targeting a teenage boy he thought had stolen $55,000 worth of diamond jewelry and cash from him in late April.
He was arrested Monday night at John Wayne Airport in Orange County. Atlanta authorities were expected to pick him up by Sept. 15.
He will remain jailed without bail until he is transferred to Georgia. During a brief hearing in downtown Los Angeles, Crittenton acknowledged that he was wanted in Atlanta.
"Hopefully the authorities will transport Mr. Crittenton to the state of Georgia so we can begin defending him and clearing him from the false allegations,'' Atlanta-based attorney Brian Steel told reporters outside the downtown Los Angeles courthouse.
The defense lawyer said he had spoken with officials in Atlanta before his client's arrest and assured them that Crittenton was willing to surrender in California if necessary. Steel said his client was going to fly back under his own name, accompanied by a former law enforcement officer who works for his law office, and then be taken into custody at the airport in Atlanta.
"Law enforcement officers decided otherwise and that's what finds us here in California ...,'' Steel said.
Crittenton, 23, of Fayetteville, Ga., is accused of shooting Julian Jones, a mother of four, as she stood outside her home with an 18-year-old man on Aug. 19.
Crittenton was chosen by the Lakers in the first round of the 2007 NBA draft, but was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies on Feb. 1, 2008, in the deal that brought Pau Gasol to the Lakers.
In 2010, Crittenton pleaded guilty to misdemeanor gun possession and was placed on probation after getting into a locker-room dispute with Washington Wizards teammate Gilbert Arenas, with both players wielding guns. Crittenton and Arenas were suspended for the remainder of the season by NBA Commissioner David Stern.
Crittenton was released by the Charlotte Bobcats during training camp before the start of the 2010-11 season. He then played five games with the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association and 21 games with the Dakota Wizards of the NBA Development League.