Walker Facing Three Felony Counts for Gambling Debts

By: AP Email
By: AP Email
In this undated photo provided by the Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Dept., former NBA basketball player Antoine Walker is shown. Walker, who has been charged with suspicion of drunk driving in Miami Beach, Fla., was driving a black Mercedes without the lights on when he was pulled over early Monday morning jan. 5, 2009. Officers detected a strong odor of alcohol and that Walker had a sleepy look on his face. He refused a breathalyzer test. (AP Photo/Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Dept.)

In this undated photo provided by the Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Dept., former NBA basketball player Antoine Walker is shown. Walker, who has been charged with suspicion of drunk driving in Miami Beach, Fla., was driving a black Mercedes without the lights on when he was pulled over early Monday morning jan. 5, 2009. Officers detected a strong odor of alcohol and that Walker had a sleepy look on his face. He refused a breathalyzer test. (AP Photo/Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Dept.)

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Former NBA all-star Antoine Walker said nothing in a Las Vegas court Monday about criminal charges that he failed to repay $822,500 in casino gambling debts.

The 6-foot-9 Walker also declined to comment outside the courtroom after appearing briefly with his lawyer, Jonathan Powell, on three felony counts of writing bad checks. Powell also declined to comment.

Walker was not asked to enter a plea before Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Melanie Andress-Tobiasson set a Sept. 16 evidentiary hearing date.

Prosecutor Bernie Zadrowski told the judge the two sides might try to negotiate a settlement before that date.

Each charge carries a possible one- to four-year prison term for the 32-year-old power forward, who lives in Chicago and became a basketball free agent after the Memphis Grizzlies bought out his contract in December.

Andress-Tobiasson let Walker remain free on $135,000 cash bail posted Thursday following his arrest by Douglas County sheriff's deputies at a Lake Tahoe hotel. Walker spent the weekend in northern Nevada playing in a celebrity golf tournament.

A criminal complaint accuses Walker of failing to make good on 10 checks totaling $1 million written last July through January at Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood and the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas.

In Nevada, unpaid casino markers, or loans to gamblers, are treated as bad checks and can be turned over to the district attorney for prosecution.

Zadrowski, chief of the Clark County district attorney's office bad check unit, declined to comment outside court. He has said Walker repaid $178,000 before charges were filed, and that Walker now faces an additional $82,550 in prosecution fees.

Walker was a three-time all-star with the Boston Celtics and won a championship with the Miami Heat in 2006. He last played for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2008.


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