Elie here: standing up for bucolic, Indiana.

We were driving back from my girlfriend’s hometown. There are plenty of long silences during these drives. I like it that way. Occasionally, though, the silence is punctured by questions from Stephanie about evolutionary psychology (“Why do I crave sugar sooooo much?”) or animal husbandry (“When are we getting a dog and can we name it Chuck Bass?”). During this last drive, Stephanie asked me a particularly penetrating question. “What is the worst state?” Before I could answer semisolid, she clarified, “I mean, it’s gotta be Indiana, right?”

Probably? I thought about it awhile. Indiana is awful and, yet, boring at the same time. All the boredom of Kansas with all the progressive racial relations of Idaho. I can already hear the complaints that will emanate from this random introduction to a column that is nominally about sports and the law. “What about Florida?” “Has Stephanie ever been to Ft. Wayne in autumn?” “Does Lat even know you’re writing for this website?” These are all excellent questions and I respect the hell out of every single one of them. But I’m not going to apologize for my girlfriend’s bigotry. We’ve had Chuck Bass exactly one week and I love that dog. I love him with all my heart and I just want to say this right now, that regardless of what you say about it, we’re going to keep it.

Let’s talk sports…

JAVARIS CRAY-CRAY-TON

Do you remember when this country caught the collective vapors over Gilbert Arenas bringing a gun into an NBA locker room? Anywhere but an NBA locker room! Gilbert Arenas, who had carefully cultivated a goofier-than-hell image was suddenly a thug. Because guns.

But our probity had its limits. Arenas was famous and his sparring partner in that dick-swinging of yore was a scrub. So we lost track of him. Lost track of Agent Zero’s nemesis (∞?). But ‘sup with Javaris Crittenton? ‘Sup with that guy? Well, Javaris is cray cray y’all. Crittenton was charged with murder two years ago. The murder itself is pretty sad, involving a young mother caught in the alleged crosshairs of a gang-related beef. This would all be great grist for weallwilldieoneday.blogspot.biz/emo, but this isn’t that website. What about lawyers?

Former Georgia Tech basketball standout Javaris Crittenton must remain home every night until his murder trial after allegedly intimidating the prosecutor of his case, a judge ruled Thursday.

And the recording of a jailhouse phone call in which Crittenton claimed to want to beat up the prosecutor was key in the judge’s decision to modify the former NBA player’s bond conditions.

Motherf**ker’s grounded.

The incident itself sounds pretty tame by person-alleged-to-have-killed-a-young-mother standards. A lotta brisk walking and stink eye:

According to prosecutors, while leaving a Sept. 19 bond hearing for his cousin and co-defendant Douglas Gamble – one in which Gamble failed to have his bond reduced from $230,000 – Crittenton followed and intimidated Gabe Banks, the assistant Fulton County district attorney prosecuting the murder trial.

“He was walking at a heightened pace,” Banks said in the emergency hearing. “At some point, he approached me, squared up on me, looked me up and down. He was no more than five or six feet away from me.”

The kind of dark, wordless drama usually reserved for a Ryan Gosling flick. Who needs talkies when you got raw human emotion!? Anyway, Crittenton’s uncle was luckily present to save the day:

While Randolph and Banks said that multiple people tugged at Crittenton to stop the encounter, Crittenton’s uncle Thomas Dobbs testified that he was the only person to gently pull his nephew’s arm to get him to walk away.

“His grandmother asked me to go and get him because she didn’t want him to get on that elevator with them,” Dobbs said.

This whole dumb affair leaves me to wonder just how murder trials are handled down in the Peach State. Is this normal procedure? Alleged murderers allowed to stalk prosecutors? Or is there a distinct lack of elevator banks in Georgia? Like, one elevator for three thousand criminals, attorneys, and courtroom stenographers. All packed in there like sardines in a can normally reserved for smaller sardines.

At any rate, Crittenton mean-mugged the wrong lawyer and now he’s paying the price, cooped up in his home like some g-damned nerd. The horror.

‘SUP WITH AARON?

Now that we’ve gotten Javaris Crittenton straightened out, we turn our attention to Aaron Hernandez. This is an occasional feature where we figure out ‘sup with Aaron Hernandez. ‘Sup with that guy? Well, the latest deets involve him looking dope as hell in a sharp blue blazer with a neck tattoo poking out, looking for all the world like a man about to interview for a clerkship on the 9th Circuit. But no, he’s accused of murder.

And the prosecutors in his case are now asking that the judge in his trial recuse herself. The claim seems oddly devoid of substance:

Bristol County Assistant District Attorney William McCauley wants Judge Susan Garsh to remove herself from the case, he said during a hearing in Fall River Superior Court.

McCauley did not detail his reasons in court, but a new filing cited a “well-known and publicly documented history of antagonism” between him and Garsh, stemming from a 2010 murder trial he argued before her.

Though McCauley won a conviction in that case, he was quoted in the media as criticizing Garsh, saying she had unfairly limited or excluded evidence and exhibited hostility.

The public documentation appears to consist of quotes from the prosecutor who hates Garsh’s allegedly impartial guts. One masshole accusing another masshole of exhibiting hostility, as if that harsh tribe raised on brutal winters and emotional retardation knew any other way.

Anyway, Aaron Hernandez also had to acknowledge the uncomfortable fact that one of the prosecutor’s wives is a partner at Ropes & Gray like Hernandez’s attorney, Michael Fee. They dragged Hernandez onto the stand, asked him questions about the potential conflict of interest, and then asked him to describe in vivid detail what it felt like to run onto a football field in front of 80,000 screaming fans who had paid good money to watch you hone your craft. Could you compare it to anything, they asked? Like, give us a hint of what it must have felt like. And Aaron reached deep into his memory banks and, with the soul of a poet, replied, “Honestly? The only thing I can compare it to is murdering a dude. Same kind of deal.”

RAP SHEET ROLL CALL

* Jerry Sandusky’s son was arrested for DUI this week. In response, Penn State has petitioned the NCAA to reduce its sanctions.

* Aldon Smith, the unusually thirsty 49er, now faces felony weapons charges related to a party he threw in 2012. He’s also being sued by two people who were shot at the party. Sheeeeeeit.

* A NASCAR driver was arrested on domestic assault charges. The twist? There isn’t one.


Judge imposes curfew on ex-Georgia Tech hoopster charged with murder
[Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
Recusal of judge sought in Hernandez case in Mass. [CNNSI]


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