Raymond Felton, the 29-year-old point guard for the New York Knicks, was arrested in the early morning hours of Feb. 25 in New York City, where he was charged with two felonies of second- and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and, a fourth-degree charge of criminal possession of a weapon – a misdemeanor.
USA Today reported that, according to court papers in N.Y., the second-degree felony alleges Felton "knowingly possesses a loaded firearm," while the third-degree felony states he "knowingly possesses a firearm which has been defaced for the purpose of concealment or prevention of the detection of a crime or misrepresenting the identity of such firearm."
The second-degree felony charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years if convicted, and the third-degree charge carries a maximum sentence of seven years if convicted.
With N.Y. maintaining some of the strictest gun laws in the country, many media analysts are calling Felton’s future with the NBA into question.
Sports Illustrated reported that the NBA could suspend Felton; or perhaps the Knicks could use the charges posed against him to void out his current contract.
Felton's contract calls for him to earn $3.6 million this season, $3.7 million next season and a player option for $4.0 million in 2015-16.
Felton appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court today to face those gun charges at his arraignment. Fox News reported that he was released from custody on $25,000 bail. The good news for now is that under the terms of his bond, Felton will be able to travel out of state with the Knicks for away games.
The point guard is entering divorce proceedings with his estranged wife, Ariane Raymondo-Felton. It was Ariane’s lawyer that turned in a loaded Belgian pistol to police in N.Y. and claimed that it belonged to Felton. Ariane said she no longer wanted the weapon in her home.
At today’s arraignment, Judge Diana Boyar ordered Felton to stay away from his wife.
"Mr. Felton has no interest in having contact" with her, one of his lawyers, James Walden, told the judge. Court records show she filed for divorce from Felton last week.
Felton is in his ninth season playing with the NBA. In addition to the Knicks, he’s also played with the Charlotte Bobcats, Denver Nuggets, and the Portland Trail Blazers.
For more on Felton's arrest, see the video accompanying this video.
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