Ex-Bobcat Baxter arrested on weapons charges

Updated: August 16, 2006, 7:22 PM ET
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Former NBA player Lonny Baxter was arrested by uniformed Secret Service agents on Wednesday after shots were fired from a vehicle about two blocks from the White House.

Lonny Baxter

Baxter, who helped Maryland win a national championship and played with the Charlotte Bobcats last season, was ordered held without bail.

"Nobody feels worse about this whole scenario than Mr. Baxter himself," Baxter's lawyer, Harold Martin, said after Wednesday's brief court appearance. "Hopefully this doesn't become a life-altering event."

The 27-year-old Baxter was taken into custody around 2:30 a.m. after a witness flagged down a Secret Service agent and reported shots fired from a white sport utility vehicle, said Secret Service spokesman Eric Zahren.

Officers stopped the vehicle, which Baxter was driving, near the intersection of 17th and I streets in Northwest Washington, he said.

"There were spent shell casings in plain view inside the vehicle," Zahren said. Officers also recovered a handgun.

The Secret Service charged Baxter and his passenger, 35-year-old Irvin Martin, with carrying a handgun without a license and other firearms charges, which could lead to up to seven years in prison.

It wasn't immediately clear why they were allegedly firing the gun.

"We're not sure at this point," Zahren said. "There may be some subsequent charges if we discover some additional information."

Martin was released on his own recognizance.

Baxter signed a one-year deal earlier this month with Italian team Montepaschi Siena.

Baxter was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in the second round of the 2002 draft. He is a native of Silver Spring, Md., just outside of Washington, and played for Maryland from 1998 to 2002. He also played with briefly with the Washington Wizards.

Bobcats spokesman Scott Leightman said Baxter is no longer with the team after his contract expired at the end of last season.

Baxter joined the Bobcats in the middle of last season in a trade with Houston.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press