Arenas avoids jail time


WASHINGTON, March 27 – NBA star Gilbert Arenas won't spend time behind bars for taking guns into the Wizards locker room, a judge instead sentencing him on Friday to 30 days in a halfway house.District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Robert E. Morin sentenced Arenas, who had pleaded guilty on January 15 to a felony gun charge of carrying an unlicensed pistol – a violation of the US capital’s strict gun laws.

Prosecutors had recommended that the player be sentenced to three months in jail.

In addition to the time in a halfway house, Arenas was sentenced to 400 hours of community service, which cannot be conducted at basketball clinics. He was fined 5,000 dollars and must register as a gun offender.

He is already suspended from the National Basketball Association through the remainder of the season.

Arenas, whose actions in the wake of the event irked NBA officials who felt he didn’t take the incident seriously, apologized in court.

"Every day, I wake up wishing it did not happen," Arenas said.

The charge against Arenas stemmed from a December 21 locker room incident between him and teammate Javaris Crittenton, in which Arenas brought several guns to the team’s facility.

Crittenton, who is also suspended by the NBA, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge and had already been sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation.

The two had argued over debt from a poker game.

Prosecutors had sought a sentence of at least three months in jail, saying Arenas lied about why his guns were in the locker room and that he knew bringing guns into the District of Columbia was illegal. He also had a prior conviction on an improperly registered gun.

US Attorney Christopher Kavanaugh wrote in papers filed with the court: "if any other individual – without the fame, power, and the wealth of this defendant – brought four firearms into Washington, DC, for the purpose of a similar confrontation," the individual would go to jail.

Arenas’ lawyers countered that he was pulling a misguided prank with no intent to hurt anyone.

Morin said he took several factors into account in determining the sentence, saying he believed Arenas was sincerely remorseful and noting that Crittenton received only probation.