The last time you saw Rex Chapman probably was in this surveillance camera footage from September, showing the former NBA shooting guard taking things off the shelves of a Scottsdale (Ariz.) Apple store. Police said Chapman never paid for those items; instead they said he sold the more than $14,000 in stolen merchandise at a nearby pawn shop. Scottsdale police arrested Chapman and charged him with nine counts of organized retail theft and five counts of trafficking in stolen property.
As police described it back in September, it sounded like a fairly solid case. They've got video of him taking the items. Store employees said he didn't pay for it. And people recognized Chapman from his playing days with the Phoenix Suns. But yesterday Maricopa County prosecutors said they weren't filing charges. When asked why, a spokesman said this to WDRB:
Jerry Cobb, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, told WDRB News that after reviewing the case, prosecutors did not file charges and have sent the case back to police for further investigation.
Cobb said no decision has been made on whether to charge Chapman. Prosecutors have up to seven years in which to issue charges in a felony case, he said.
"We still need additional information before we make that decision," Cobb said. He declined to discuss specifics of the case.
Nobody else said much to WDRB. Chapman's lawyer declined to comment, and a police spokesman told them that sending back a case wasn't unusual. The only other hint as to what could have made prosecutors pull the brakes comes later, when WDRB says that Chapman in September "began a 28-day substance-abuse treatment program at The Brook Hospital in Louisville."
All this frees up Chapman to work the upcoming Final Four. Chapman, who played for Kentucky, will be among the three people calling the Wildcats game for the Team Stream on TNT, according to a Turner and CBS Sports press release.
Missing from the Final Four broadcast will be Greg Anthony, who was expected to help call the Final Four and NCAA Championship Game until his arrest on the charge of soliciting a prostitute in Washington, D.C. Anthony was suspended indefinitely by CBS and Turner soon afterward. Last month, Anthony cut a deal with prosecutors in which the charge will be dropped so long as he completes 32 hours of community service and stays out of trouble for four months.
Image via Associated Press