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Eric Griffin, cleared of attempted murder charge, signs with Israeli team

Eric Griffin, a pro basketball player who was falsely accused of attempted murder in April, has agreed to a contract with Israeli club Galil Gilboa, according to his agent, Tod Seidel.

The deal with the Israeli club is a welcome development for Griffin, who in May spent a week in a Florida jail after being charged with attempted first-degree murder with a firearm.

The incident cost Griffin opportunities to play in the NBA summer league and an offer from a team in the Philippines, Seidel said. Teams withdrew their standing offers to Griffin after finding out about the attempted murder charge, he said.

"Even when we provided a letter from the prosecution that explained he [Griffin] had absolutely nothing to do with this horrible crime, teams still backed away," Seidel said.

The Florida state attorney's office investigated the case and determined that it was not suitable for prosecution, according to spokeswoman Angela Starke.

One finding that led the state attorney's office to conclude that Griffin was falsely identified was the height of the victim's attackers. The victim in the case described the man who shot him -- one of the two men who attacked him -- as being "around 6-foot to 6-2." Griffin is 6-9.

The state attorney's office also determined that Griffin had an alibi.

"His alarm system was on the night of the shooting until the following morning," Starke said. "A motion detector picked him up as movement in a hallway.

"We declined to prosecute because the evidence that we received could not prove that there was guilt beyond a reasonable doubt."

Griffin, a 26-year-old forward, played in the NBA summer league for the previous three summers prior to the incident and has played for the LA Clippers, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks and Detroit Pistons in training camp over the past four seasons. He describes his time in jail while being falsely accused as "the worst experience" of his life. He says he lost 15 pounds while in jail. He's now hoping to put the incident behind him and focus on resuming his career.

"I want to thank Galil Gilboa for approaching this with a clear and open mind -- they are getting a tremendous player and a man on a mission," he said.

"It's really been a bad predicament; I'm just looking forward to what's next."