Cops Search Home of Iverson's Uncle
Jul. 11, 2002
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Police searched the home of Allen Iverson's uncle Thursday as they investigated accusations that the NBA star forced his away into a relative's apartment with a gun.
Lt. Michael Chitwood said police believed that the uncle, Greg Iverson, was with the 76ers star on the night of the alleged incident and had obtained a warrant to search his downtown Philadelphia apartment.
Asked if police were searching for a gun, Chitwood said, ``possibly.''
The search came a day after prosecutors said they weren't ready to say whether Iverson should be charged for allegedly threatening two men while looking for his wife.
Iverson and his wife, Tawanna, had been involved in a domestic dispute that spanned two days and involved Iverson's throwing his wife out of their Gladwyne mansion naked, according to tapes of a 911 call obtained by The Philadelphia Inquirer. Tawanna Iverson and another man had fled Iverson's home and were in hiding, according to the report.
Police presented their case to the district attorney's office Wednesday in a meeting that lasted nearly three hours. Detectives believe they have sufficient evidence to charge Iverson with aggravated assault _ a felony _ terrorist threats and related offenses.
``After discussing everything with the police department, we came to the conclusion that the investigation would continue,'' said Cathie Abookire, a spokeswoman for District Attorney Lynne Abraham.
Iverson shot baskets with family and friends on a court outside his suburban mansion Wednesday.
Neither Iverson nor Tawanna Iverson, his wife of 11 months and his high school sweetheart, have commented publicly. His attorneys did not return phone calls and Iverson ignored reporters who shouted questions to him at his home.
Thursday's search of Greg Iverson's apartment lasted about 45 minutes and investigators left with one brown evidence bag. They declined comment, although Chitwood said no one was in the apartment at the time of the search.
Abraham, in a brief interview from Hershey, Pa., where she was attending a conference, said Iverson would receive no special treatment.
``We treat everybody in this office the same. Whatever it is, that's what it is,'' said Abraham, who was scheduled to discuss Iverson's case sometime Thursday afternoon.
Chitwood called prosecutors' delay ``standard procedure'' and said prosecutors did not view the case as weak.
Iverson, a former league MVP, is accused of going to the Cobbs Creek Court apartment complex to look for Tawanna and cousin, Shaun Bowman, who lives there. Neither was there, said Charles Jones, 21, who has lived in the apartment since March. Jones made the 911 call more than 10 hours after the alleged incident, according to the Inquirer report.
It wasn't clear how Jones obtained his information about the Iversons' domestic dispute. During the 911 call, Jones said that Iverson had threatened to kill his wife and shoot Jones, The Inquirer reported.
Jones met with police Tuesday and told reporters Iverson had a gun when he forced his way inside the apartment early on July 3 and threatened Jones and another man.
Police said Iverson has no gun permit, nor does he have a gun registered in the state of Pennsylvania.
David McGlaughlin, a longtime Philadelphia defense attorney not connected to the case, predicted Iverson would face a ``worst-case scenario'' of probation if he is charged.
Police and prosecutors want to ``overcharge the case and leave yourself plenty of wiggle room to negotiate a plea bargain to a lesser offense later,'' said McGlaughlin, who was a prosecutor early in his career.
Iverson, whose dazzling play and bad-boy image have made him enormously popular with young people, has had other brushes with the law.
As a teenager, he was arrested in a Hampton, Va., bowling alley brawl in 1993 and spent four months in prison before then-Gov. Douglas Wilder granted clemency. The conviction was overturned on appeal in 1995.
In 1997, Iverson pleaded no contest to a gun charge after police near Richmond, Va., stopped a car in which he was a passenger and found a gun belonging to Iverson and two marijuana cigarettes. A marijuana-possession charge was dropped.
Iverson completed 100 hours of community service, two years of drug testing and three years' probation, after which his record was expunged.