Prosecutors review evidence against 76ers' Iverson

Posted: Thursday, July 11, 2002

PHILADELPHIA -- Prosecutors won't decide until Thursday at the earliest whether to charge Allen Iverson with storming into a home with a gun and threatening two men while looking for his wife.

Police, who want to arrest the NBA All-Star on charges ranging from aggravated assault to making terroristic threats, presented their case to the district attorney's office Wednesday in a meeting that lasted nearly three hours.

But prosecutors said they weren't ready to make a decision.

''By tomorrow, when I investigate this a little further, I'll be in a better position to make a statement,'' District Attorney Lynne Abraham said in a brief interview from Hershey, Pa., where she was attending a conference.

Abraham said Iverson would receive no special treatment.

''We treat everybody in this office the same. Whatever it is, that's what it is,'' she said.

Lt. Michael Chitwood, who met with prosecutors, called the delay ''standard procedure.''

''We have a few things we need to do. Stay tuned,'' he said.

The Philadelphia 76ers star is accused of going to an apartment complex to look for his wife, Tawanna, and cousin, Shaun Bowman, who lives there. Neither was there, said Charles Jones, who has lived in the apartment since March.

Jones met with police Tuesday and told reporters Iverson had a gun when he forced his way inside the apartment early on July 3 and threatened Jones and another man.

Police said Iverson has no gun permit, nor does he have a gun registered in Pennsylvania.

Iverson has not commented publicly on the allegations. He was outside his house Wednesday night with a group of children and adults, but didn't respond to reporters who shouted questions at him from the other side of a fence.

If Iverson is charged, he would be asked to surrender, police said.

Earlier, Chitwood said investigators initially were skeptical of the accusations.

''When you take their story on the face of it, it doesn't seem plausible,'' Chitwood said. ''But as you start to dig in further and further and further, it became clear to us it's true.''

David McGlaughlin, a longtime Philadelphia defense attorney not connected to the case, predicted Iverson would face a maximum of probation if he is charged.

Police and prosecutors want to ''overcharge the case and leave yourself plenty of wiggle room to negotiate a plea bargain to a lesser offense later,'' said McGlaughlin, a prosecutor early in his career.

The off-court trouble is just the latest for Iverson.

In 1993, he was arrested in a Hampton, Va., bowling alley brawl and spent four months in prison before then-Gov. Douglas Wilder granted clemency. The conviction was overturned on appeal in 1995.

In 1997, Iverson pleaded no contest to a gun charge after police near Richmond, Va., stopped a car in which he was a passenger and found a gun belonging to Iverson and two marijuana cigarettes. A marijuana-possession charge was dropped.

Iverson completed 100 hours of community service, two years of drug testing and three years' probation, after which his record was cleared.

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