The nephew of former San Antonio Spur Johnny Moore is in jail, facing charges related to the theft of the retired point guard's championship rings from his North Side home last month.
Jason Witherspoon, 34, was arrested on a theft charge Wednesday.
The arrest affidavit stated that Johnny Moore filed a report on Aug. 2, stating that his 1999 and 2003 Spurs championship rings and a University of Texas ring, were missing. Moore also said that he believed Witherspoon, who had been living with him, was to blame, the affidavit stated.
The rings were valued at more than $30,000, the affidavit stated.
"We worked hard a lot of years, trying to get the ring as a player. Never was able to do that," Moore said.
The championship rings were invaluable to him, he said.
Moore, one of only six Spurs players to have his jersey retired, actually earned them off-court while working as part of the Spurs' support staff.
Detectives investigating the case said they obtained receipts from Witherspoon's father in Indiana, showing that Witherspoon had sold the three rings for a few hundred dollars each.
Police said they found the college ring at a Cash America on San Pedro Avenue, and recovered the 2003 ring from Gold Unlimited near Loop 410 and Blanco Road.
According to the affidavit, detectives found out that the 1999 ring had been sold to Miles Gold and Silver on San Pedro Avenue, which then resold it to a refining business. Detectives believe the plan was to have the gold melted down in order to get rid of the original ring, the affidavit stated.
At his home Thursday morning, Johnny Moore said that he had nurtured Witherspoon as a child, but had not been as close to him since he became an adult. Recently, he allowed Witherspoon to move in with him, but his nephew suddenly left and returned to Indiana.
"You know he came on some hard times, and I think that he may not have dealt with it as best as he could," Moore said. "It's just really unfortunate that everybody doesn't deal with circumstances the right way or the best way possible."
Moore said he gives a lot of credit to San Antonio police officers who "worked diligently" to recover his prized rings. But he said his reunion with the jewelry is bittersweet.
"My main concern isn't the rings. That's just so material," Moore said. "It's about Jason and getting his life back in order."
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