By David Beasley
ATLANTA (Reuters) - A grand jury has indicted former professional basketball player Javaris Crittenton on murder and gang charges in the drive-by shooting death of a young mother in Georgia in 2011, prosecutors said on Wednesday.
Julian Jones, 22, was gunned down in Atlanta in August 2011 by someone who fired an assault rifle from a dark-colored sport utility vehicle, police said.
Jones did not appear to be Crittenton's intended victim, according to the Fulton County District Attorney's Office.
Prosecutors said the shooting was gang-related and was in retaliation for an earlier armed robbery of Crittenton, whom they said was associated with the Los Angeles-based Mansfield Gangster Crips.
The 12-count indictment issued Tuesday against Crittenton, 25, and his cousin, Douglas Gamble, includes charges of murder, participation in criminal street gang activity and the attempted murder of another man who was shot at, but not injured.
Crittenton's attorney said he would fight the charges.
"Mr. Crittenton is an honorable man who did not in any way commit any of the crimes alleged in the indictment," lawyer Brian Steel told Reuters.
Crittenton, who was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2007 and played two seasons in the National Basketball Association, was released on $230,000 bond after his August 2011 arrest in Jones's death.
Crittenton ended his career with the Washington Wizards after a stint in Memphis, according to the league website. He played college basketball at Georgia Tech in Atlanta.
In January 2010, the NBA suspended Crittenton and Wizards teammate Gilbert Arenas without pay for the rest of the season for bringing guns into a locker room following a dispute over a poker game during a flight home from a game.
Crittenton pleaded guilty to a criminal charge and received one year of probation over that incident.
(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Bernadette Baum)
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