Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Celtics' Jabari Bird allegedly 'choked his girlfriend for hours' but pleads innocent

Celtics' Jabari Bird allegedly 'choked his girlfriend for hours' but pleads innocent

Boston Celtics guard Jabari Bird entered a not guilty plea yesterday to charges of domestic assault, strangulation and kidnapping.

UPDATE (1:30 p.m. ET): Bird has been accused of felony charges of kidnapping, strangulation, domestic assault and battery and assault and battery with a unsafe weapon, according to The Athletic's Jared Weiss, who posted photos of the criminal complaint brought against Bird on Twitter.

The team released a statement earlier Thursday saying they were "deeply disturbed" by the allegations and "will be working with both the league and local authorities to assist in their ongoing investigations".

The Celtics issued a statement yesterday.

"I do not condone violence against women", he said.

In a four-hour episode that Bird's girlfriend said began with "trust issues", prosecutors claimed (via the Boston Herald) that Bird "began strangling her using one of his hands and also threw her against a wall". "I am hopeful that in due time and process, I will be able to regain everyone's trust".

"The woman told police Bird was having "seizure like" symptoms when she eventually escaped".

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Bird's lawyer, former federal prosecutor Brian Kelly, said his client "understands the seriousness of the allegations" but that there are two sides to the story.

He reportedly texted her that if she did not return to the apartment, he would kill himself.

"Most importantly, our thoughts are with the victim of this incident", the statement reads.

"Prosecutors allege that Bird strangled his girlfriend, a college student, a dozen times to the point that she lost consciousness for a period of time". Bird was originally scheduled to be arraigned on Monday, but that was delayed as he remained hospitalized at St. Elizabeth's Hospital.

The team notes that domestic violence issues are handled by the NBA's main office.

Boston Celtics guard Jabari Bird appears for his arraignment on domestic violence charges at Brighton Municipal Court, Thursday, September 13, 2018 in Boston. The team will have no further comment at this time.

Bird was drafted with the No. 56 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft out of California. He spent his rookie season on a two-way contract and in July signed a two-year deal, with the first year fully guaranteed at $1.35 million.

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