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Ex-Tech star, NBA player Crittenton pleads guilty to killing mom of 4

Former Georgia Tech and NBA standout Javaris Crittenton pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to killing a 23-year-old mother of four in August 2011.

Crittenton, 27, then was sentenced to 23 years as part of a plea deal. Crittenton apologized for the shooting death of Julian Jones, calling it a horrible accident.

Crittenton and his cousin and co-defendant Douglas Gamble, 29, were charged with murder, felony murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and participation in criminal street gang activity. Both pleaded guilty to lesser charges of voluntary manslaughter and aggravated assault.

Gamble, who was with Crittenton at the time of the shooting, was sentenced to three years in custody.

Jury selection ended Tuesday and opening statements were to begin Wednesday when the pleas were entered.

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On Aug. 19, 2011, Jones was killed in a drive-by shooting outside of her southeast Atlanta home, according to police. At the time, police said Crittenton possibly shot at Jones thinking she was a perpetrator in an earlier robbery.

But Jones was outside talking to neighbors and had just put the kids to bed, Harel Butler, Jones’ boyfriend, told the AJC. Butler said he had dropped Jones off about 30 minutes earlier, and the two planned to go out later that evening on a date. Butler said he and Jones had been together nearly 10 years, and he had bought an engagement ring he planned to give her.

“I never got a chance to do that,” Butler said.

Crittenton, of Fayetteville, is a former AJC “Mr. Basketball” and high school star at Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy who then played at Georgia Tech. He was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the 2007 NBA Draft and was traded his rookie year to the Memphis Grizzlies.

While playing for the Washington Wizards, Crittenton was involved in a December 2009 locker room incident with then-teammate Gilbert Arenas in which the two pulled guns on each other. On Jan. 25, 2010, Crittenton pleaded guilty and was given a year of probation on a misdemeanor gun possession charge. Two days later, Crittenton and Arenas were suspended for the rest of the season.

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