NEWS
08/27/2011 05:38 EDT | Updated 10/27/2011 05:12 EDT

Police trying to take Javaris Crittenton into custody for murdering mother of 4

ATLANTA - Javaris Crittenton was wanted on a murder charge as police searched on Saturday for the former NBA player in Atlanta and Los Angeles.

Crittenton has been charged in the fatal shooting of 22-year Jullian Jones, a mother of four who was gunned down Aug. 19 on an Atlanta street.

A spokesman with the Atlanta police said Crittenton was not in custody. Calls to the FBI and U.S. Marshal's office weren't immediately returned.

Three of Crittenton's neighbours in Fayetteville said SWAT members executed a search warrant last week on his residence.

The neighbours declined to give their names to The Associated Press during interviews near Crittenton's home in an affluent cul-de-sac south of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

No one answered the door at Crittenton's residence, a three-story brick home with a manicured lawn and a small backyard.

Crittenton, who spent the 2006-07 season at Georgia Tech and played in 113 NBA games, allegedly killed Jones with shots fired from a dark-colored SUV, police said.

According to Atlanta police spokesman Carlos Campos, investigators don't believe Jones was the intended target. His motive, Campos said, appeared to be retaliation for an April robbery in which Crittenton was a victim.

Messages left for an agent who has represented Crittenton weren't immediately returned Friday or Saturday.

Crittenton, who averaged 5.3 points and 1.8 assists in his career, last played in the NBA during 2008-09. He was sidelined by an ankle injury the following season, during which he and teammate Gilbert Arenas were suspended for a gun-related incident in the Wizards' locker room.

Two days after a dispute stemming from a card game on a team flight, Arenas brought four guns to the locker room and set them in front of Crittenton's locker with a sign telling him to "PICK 1." Crittenton then took out his own gun.

Crittenton pleaded guilty to a misdemeanour gun charge on Jan. 25, 2010, and received probation.

After the Wizards declined to re-sign him, he signed a non-guaranteed contract with Charlotte before last season. The Bobcats waived him Oct. 15, and he then played five games in China for the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions, averaging 25.8 points. He also played 20 games for the NBDL's Dakota Wizards, averaging 14.3 points.

Crittenton was drafted 19th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2007. He played little with Los Angeles and was traded to Memphis in his rookie year, then to Washington in December 2008.

NBA spokesman Tim Frank wrote in an email to the AP that Crittenton is no longer under contract with Dakota.

"Beyond that I have nothing to add," Frank said.

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Associated Press writer Ray Henry and AP sports writer Jim O'Connell contributed to this report.