Former NBA star Walker to face trial on bad check charges
June 16, 2010
LAS VEGAS – A judge on Monday ordered former NBA all-star Antoine Walker to face trial on felony bad check charges that allege he failed to repay almost $1 million in gambling debts and penalties to three Las Vegas casinos.
The 33-year-old Walker said nothing as he appeared Monday with his lawyer, Jonathan Powell, before Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Melanie Andress-Tobiasson. He remains free without bail until his June 30 arraignment in state court.
The judge noted that Walker hadn’t made any progress repaying some $770,000 he owes on a promise last November to pay $905,050 in restitution, court fees and penalties. At the time, Walker forfeited toward that amount the $135,000 cash bail he posted following his arrest at the American Century Championship last July in Stateline.
Andress-Tobiasson bound Walker over for trial in Clark County District Court on three criminal bad check charges that, combined, could get him probation or send him to prison for up to 12 years if he’s convicted.
Walker and his lawyer did not comment and quickly left the courthouse after their brief appearance.
Bernie Zadrowski, head of the Clark County district attorney’s bad check unit, said outside court that Walker’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing last month in Florida complicated the Las Vegas criminal case. The prosecutor said he and Powell were still negotiating toward resolving the Nevada case without sending Walker to prison.
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The charges stem from $1 million in casino markers, or gambling loans, that Walker used between July 2008 and January 2009 at Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood and the Red Rock Resort. Nevada law treats unpaid markers as bad checks, and they can be turned over to the district attorney for prosecution.
Walker’s bankruptcy filing claims $12.7 million in liabilities and $4.3 million in assets, including the 2006 NBA championship ring he won with the Miami Heat.
Walker, a Chicago native, was a three-time all-star with the Boston Celtics before going to Miami. He hasn’t played in the NBA since 2008 but played briefly in Puerto Rico during the 2009-10 season.