G-Day: Gilbert Arenas Learns His Fate

Prosecutors were seeking jail time

By Tracee Wilkins and Pat Collins
|  Saturday, Mar 27, 2010  |  Updated 6:57 AM EDT
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Gilbert Arenas leaves D.C. court after learning his sentence.

Gilbert Arenas leaves D.C. court after learning his sentence.

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Gilbert Arenas Learns His Fate

Wizard's Gilbert Arenas is sentenced for gun charges.
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Gilbert Arenas will not be going to jail for his illegal gunplay at the Verizon Center.

The Wizards star was sentenced Friday afternoon to 30 days in a halfway house, 18 months suspended sentence, two years of probation, 400 hours of community service and a $5,000 fine.

Prosecutors had recommended three months of jail time for the NBA star. They also wanted three years of probation and 300 hours of community service.

Gilbert stood before the judge and apologized.

"I am very sorry this all happened," he said. "Every day I wake up and wish it didn't."

He said he thought by lying about it he could protect his family and teammates. He apologized to teammate Javaris Crittenton's family, the Pollin family, the Wizards and the city of Washington.

"What I did was stupid and irresponsible," Arenas said. "I am sorry again I put everybody through this."

"We are very gratified with the outcome of today’s sentencing proceeding," Arenas's attornery said in a statement on his behalf. "Judge [Robert] Morin’s decision was fair and measured; it reflected a deep understanding of the relevant facts and equities; and it carefully took into account both the facts relating to Mr. Arenas’ offense and the evidence of Mr. Arenas’ good character."

The Wizards released the following statement after the sentence was announced:

“We believe today’s sentencing of Gilbert Arenas can help bring closure to the unfortunate situation that has played out over the last three months. Gilbert has admitted his mistakes and will now pay his debt to our community. We are confident that he has learned something significant from the experience and we now look forward to moving on and focusing on building this team into the contender that our outstanding fans deserve.”

There was no mention as to whether or not Arenas will be a part of the team's future. Arenas is already suspended from the Wizards, and his image has been removed from the Verizon Center. The star player is normally paid $147,000 a game.

In January, Arenas entered a guilty plea to one felony count of carrying a pistol without a license in the District. That plea resulted from the incident last year at the Verizon Center where Arenas brought four unloaded guns into the Wizards' locker room as part of a gambling dispute with Crittenton.

Prosecutors said Arenas had not accepted full responsibility for his actions, and had shown little genuine remorse for anything other than how this incident may affect his career. They also accused him of trying to pressure his teammate into a cover up.  Arenas’s lawyer released a statement saying, “Despite a history of pranks and misguided practical jokes he is a peaceful man who is not aggressive or confrontational in any way.”

Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said the incident should be a cautionary tale for pro athletes, as well as the general public.

"This is the second time Mr. Arenas violated a gun law and jail time would have been an appropriate penalty," Helmke said in a statement. "As a high profile role model, Mr. Arenas needs to spend his time on probation and afterwards speaking out about gun violence to young people in and around the District of Columbia, as well as the nation.”

Crittenton pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor gun charge and received one year of unsupervised probation. Prosecutors said Arenas didn’t deserve probation because his conduct was too reckless, too dangerous and his lack of remorse was too blatant.

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