Ex-NBA player Chapman get probation for shoplifting in Arizona

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 18, 2016 7:47 PM

By David Schwartz

PHOENIX (Reuters) - Former Phoenix Suns basketball player Rex Chapman was sentenced on Friday to 18 months of supervised probation for shoplifting more than $15,000 in merchandise from an Apple store in Arizona, court officials said.

   Chapman, who starred at the University of Kentucky before playing guard for several NBA teams, also was sentenced to perform 750 hours of community service under a plea deal in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix.

    The 48-year-old already has completed the court-ordered community service, a court spokeswoman said.

    Chapman pleaded guilty to four counts of theft in September in connection with the shoplifting that occurred over several months at the store in Scottsdale, Arizona.

    Police accused Chapman of picking up the items and making it appear that he was paying for them through the self-checkout service, using an iPhone app. He would then leave the store without paying.

    He was alleged to have taken the items to a local pawn shop and sold them for cash, police have said. Chapman was arrested in September 2014 on suspicion of theft and trafficking in stolen property.

    His attorney, Barry Mitchell, said Chapman accepted full responsibility for his actions. The former player, who has said he had developed an addiction to painkillers, was “truly grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate his commitment to sobriety and rehabilitation,” Mitchell said.

    “This process was a wakeup call that helped him make a fundamental change in his outlook and behavior in life,” Mitchell said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

    Chapman told the Lexington Herald-Leader last year that he had gone through treatment at a Louisville-area hospital for an addiction to prescription painkillers that stemmed from 10 surgeries he had while in the NBA.

    Chapman played for the Suns, Miami Heat, Washington Bullets and Charlotte Hornets from 1988 through 2000, averaging 14.6 points per game.

(Reporting by David Schwartz; Editing by Sharon Bernstein, Bernard Orr)