Former NBA star Craig Ehlo pleads guilty to reckless burning



Posted on September 11, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 11 at 6:52 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.-- Former NBA star Craig Ehlo entered a guilty plea Wednesday morning according to court officials. Superior court workers said Ehlo pleaded guilty to a one count of Second Degree Reckless Burning. The charge is a misdemeanor.

The judge sentenced Ehlo to 364 days in jail. However, 363 of those days were suspended according to court records. Ehlo received credit for the one day he served when he was arrested in August.  

Court documents said Craig Ehlo lit clothes on fire on August 1 causing damage to his home in South Spokane.  He was allegedly fighting with family when he lit his clothes on fire with gasoline.

The documents also said family members had to hold him down until deputies arrived at the home.

No one was hurt during the incident.

Wednesday, the judge also recalled a no contact order so Ehlo could see his family.  During the sentencing, prosecutor John Love told the judge Ehlo had no felonies on his record.  Ehlo’s family members also said they never felt physically threatened during the incident, according to Love.

“I can say the state was not concerned about the physical safety of the family, that was not an issue,” said Love. “We were more concerned about the behavior and cause of the behavior. Mr. Ehlo has taken steps to correct that behavior in a positive way.”

Ehlo's attorney told the court Ehlo never wanted to hurt anyone and is very humbled by what occurred.  Ehlo said he made a mistake and didn't mean harm to anyone.  He also made an apology to everyone and especially his family.

Ehlo was last scheduled to appear in court on August 14th but did not show up. His lawyer said Ehlo had entered a program for six weeks. The judge granted permission for Ehlo to leave the state to seek treatment.

PHOTOS: Craig Ehlo’s basketball career

The 51-year-old recently coached at Eastern Washington University and resigned July 11.

Ehlo played at Washington State University 1981-1983 and was drafted into the NBA by the Houston Rockets. He played for 14 seasons with the Rockets, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks and Seattle SuperSonics

He also worked as a television analyst for the Sonics and Gonzaga.