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14 September 2018, 01:09 | Henrietta Morgan
The Celtics'Jabari Bird pleaded not guilty to four felony charges on Thursday and maintained his innocence as he was arraigned on allegations that he repeatedly assaulted his girlfriend last week.
"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".
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. When Bird came to, he allegedly texted her and threatened to kill himself if she did not return to the apartment. An evaluation at St. Elizabeth's Hospital reportedly delayed his arraignment originally scheduled for Monday.
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The Celtics released the following statement after Bird's arraignment Thursday: "Most importantly, our thoughts are with the victim of this incident".
The Celtics have acknowledged they know of Bird's arrest, but have declined further comment since the weekend. CBS Bostonreports that the judge set bail at $50,000 cash, which is due by 4 pm today.
Drafted 56th overall by the Celtics in 2017, Bird signed a two-year, US$2.9 million (A$4m) deal in late July.
Police said the incident occurred at Bird's girlfriend's apartment. Only the first year is guaranteed. A Summer League standout this past July, Bird recently signed a two-year contract, which featured a fully guaranteed contract for the 2018-19 season, with the Celtics to round out their National Basketball Association roster. His future is now uncertain. His next court date is set for October 25.
According to Boston Celtics beat reporter Tom Westerholm, Bird's release will be pending conditions, including no drugs or alcohol, no weapons, and court-ordered supervision. However, it is also possible the Celtics could decide to cut ties with the guard and open up a roster spot heading into training camp on September 28. Such was the case when former Detroit Pistons center Willie Reed was suspended for six games following a domestic battery arrest last summer. This past May, the league and its players' union also launched a mental health program to counsel players who are actively addressing issues such as anxiety and depression.
More dark details have emerged about Celtics guard Jabari Bird's domestic violence charge.
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