Walker has court date for debt charges

Updated: June 1, 2010, 3:02 PM ET
Associated Press

LAS VEGAS -- A judge on Tuesday set a court date for former NBA star Antoine Walker to face felony bad check charges for failing to repay almost $1 million in gambling debts to three Las Vegas casinos.

Walker's lawyer, Jonathan Powell, referred to Walker's Chapter 7 liquidation filing May 18 in Miami, and told Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Melanie Andress-Tobiasson that Walker will appear for arraignment June 14.

Walker's bankruptcy claims $12.7 million in liabilities and $4.3 million in assets, including the 2006 NBA championship ring he won with the Miami Heat.

In Nevada, Walker faces three criminal bad check charges that prosecutor Bernie Zadrowski said could get him probation or up to 12 years in prison if convicted.

Zadrowski, chief of the Clark County district attorney's office bad check unit, said he was in talks with Powell about resolving the case without sending Walker to prison.

Powell declined to comment outside court.

The criminal case stems from $1 million in casino markers, or promises to pay, that Walker racked up between July 2008 and January 2009 at Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood and the Red Rock Resort. Nevada treats unpaid markers as bad checks that can be turned over to the district attorney for prosecution.

Walker repaid $178,000 before charges were filed, and agreed last November to pay a total of $905,050 in restitution, court fees and penalties. He forfeited toward that amount the $135,000 cash bail he posted following his arrest at a celebrity golf tournament last July in Lake Tahoe.

The judge said Tuesday she didn't see any evidence that any more had been paid.

Zadrowski said outside court that Walker still owes about $770,000.

Walker, a Chicago native, was a three-time all-star with the Boston Celtics before winning the 2006 championship with Miami. He hasn't played in the NBA since 2008, but played briefly in Puerto Rico during the 2009-10 season.

The Louisville Courier-Journal has reported that Walker was working out with coach Rick Pitino at Louisville to try to get into playing shape for an NBA comeback.

Walker played under Pitino at the University of Kentucky in the mid-1990s.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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