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Tuesday, September 17, 2002
Iverson cleardd of remaining two misdemeanor charges

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA -- Allen Iverson was cleared Tuesday of the remaining two misdemeanor charges against him, five days after prosecutors said they wanted to dismiss the case.

Iverson breaks silence
A written statement by Allen Iverson released Thursday by attorneys Thomas B. Shuttleworth and Richard A. Sprague:

"I have been told that District Attorney Lynne Abraham has reviewed the testimony from the preliminary hearing and has decided to dismiss the remaining charge. On behalf of myself and my family, I want to sincerely thank Lynne Abraham for having the courage to do the right thing and not be caught up in the media frenzy that accompanied these false accusations against me.

"Until now, on the advice of my lawyers, I have not said anything about the case. Now that my lawyers have no longer restricted me, I want to make it absolutely clear that:

"1. I did not have a gun or any weapon whatsoever;

"2. I did not terrorize or threaten anyone;

"3. I did not force my way into my cousin's apartment.

"I also want to thank my wife and family, the 76ers organization, my teammates, Mr. Fireman and the other people at Reebok for supporting me during this situation. I am thankful for the support of all the people of Philadelphia who stuck by me and believed in me. This experience helped me learn how many people truly care for me.

"I now consider this a closed chapter in my life and will not discuss it further. I intend to focus my time and energy on my family and to working with Coach Brown and my teammates to win an NBA championship for the great fans of the Philadelphia 76ers."
-- The Associated Press

Iverson was charged in July with barging into an apartment with a gun and threatening two men while looking for his wife. All but two of the charges were dismissed in July after Iverson's two accusers couldn't agree on whether he had displayed a weapon.

District Attorney Lynne Abraham said Thursday she would drop the remaining charges because the men didn't want to testify. Municipal Court Administrative Judge Seamus P. McCaffery issued a written order signing off on the request.

Charges also were dropped against Iverson's uncle, Gregory, who police said had been with the NBA All-Star the night he looked for his wife.

In a statement last week, when it came to light that charges would be dropped, Iverson said, "I want to sincerely thank Lynne Abraham for having the courage to do the right thing and not be caught up in the media frenzy that accompanied these false accusations against me."

He denied he had a gun, made threats or forced his way into his cousin's apartment that morning.

"I now consider this a closed chapter in my life and will not discuss it further," he said.

Assistant District Attorney Charles Ehrlich, the lead prosecutor on the case, said Jones and Carey had relayed through their mothers that they didn't want to testify. Both men had gone through grueling cross-examinations at the preliminary hearing.

"I think they didn't want to subject themselves to a full trial," Ehrlich said.

Iverson was the subject of intense local media scrutiny when the allegations first surfaced in early July. Hordes of reporters and photographers camped outside his suburban mansion in the days before he turned himself in to face the charges July 16.

"We are gratified by today's decision to drop all remaining charges against Allen Iverson," the 76ers said in a statement. "From the beginning, we urged our fans, the press and the public not to immediately react, but to allow the matter to be processed by the judicial system."

Abraham denied that Iverson had received star treatment. She said prosecutors routinely drop cases in which complaining witnesses decide they don't want to testify, especially when the charges involve verbal threats.

"He's just another case to me. His name could be Joe Blow and we'd do the same thing the same way," Abraham said.

It was not Iverson's first brush with the law.

As a teenager, he was arrested in Virginia in 1993 after a brawl in a bowling alley brawl and spent four months in jail before he was granted clemency by the governor. The conviction was later overturned.

In 1997, Iverson pleaded no contest to gun possession.

He has squabbled several times with 76ers coach Larry Brown and made an unreleased rap CD in which he used derogatory terms for women and gays.

Through it all, Iverson, who led the 76ers to the NBA Finals and was named the league's MVP in 2001, remains enormously popular. His 76ers jersey is the among the league's top sellers, and Reebok last year gave Iverson a lifetime extension of his 10-year, $50 million endorsement contract.