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Jayson Williams Sentenced To 5 Years In Prison

Posted by Media Outrage on February 23, 2010

Former NBA basketball star Jayson Williams has been sentenced to 5 years in prison…

CNN) — Former New Jersey Nets star Jayson Williams was sentenced to five years in prison Tuesday for the fatal shooting of his limo driver in 2002.

Williams tearfully apologized to the family of Costas “Gus” Christofi during his sentencing hearing Tuesday morning.

“There’s not a day I wake up and I don’t feel sorry for what I did to Mr. Christofi,” Williams said.

He pleaded guilty last month to aggravated assault in the 2002 shooting death of Christofi, a limo driver he had hired.

Under the plea deal, Williams could have been sentenced to anywhere from 18 months without the possibility of parole to five years in prison.

Williams, who turned 42 on Monday, appeared before Somerset County Superior Court Judge Edward Coleman.

After sentencing, he will be taken to the Central Reception and Assignment Facility in Trenton, New Jersey, said Corrections Department spokeswoman Deirdre Fedkenheuer. There, over the course of several weeks, he will be photographed, DNA samples will be taken, and he will be given medical, dental, psychological and educational evaluations, she said.

Only afterward will a decision be made about where to send him, she said.

Williams waived his right to appeal.

In return, the state changed the indictment from a charge of reckless manslaughter to a charge of aggravated assault by recklessly causing bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon.

Prosecutors said in January they would recommend Williams be sentenced to five years in prison on four charges of attempting to cover up the fatal shooting. A jury convicted him of those charges in 2004.

Though he was acquitted of more serious counts — tampering with a witness, tampering with evidence, fabricating evidence and hindering apprehension or prosecution — the jury was unable to reach a decision on the second count of reckless manslaughter.

Coleman declared a mistrial on that count, and the state had decided to move forward with a retrial on that charge when the plea deal was struck.

Williams will serve his sentence concurrently with the 18-month sentence for aggravated assault.

Last year, the state attorney general took the case from the Hunterdon County, New Jersey, prosecutor. A spokesman for the attorney general cited a gag order in declining to discuss the case.

Williams has been free on $250,000 bail with the condition that he not consume alcohol and that he check in daily with probation officers.

The condition that he refrain from alcohol was imposed soon after Williams was charged with drunken driving in early January after crashing his SUV in Manhattan. A New York judge ordered him to wear an electronic bracelet that monitors perspiration to detect whether alcohol has been consumed.

The fatal shooting occurred February 14, 2002, in the bedroom of Williams’ New Jersey estate. The 55-year-old driver had been hired to drive the former athlete and several of his friends to dinner following a sporting event in Pennsylvania.

Afterward, the group, including four members of the Harlem Globetrotters, went back to Williams’ home.

The prosecution contended that Williams was recklessly handling a 12-gauge shotgun when it discharged and that he and two others tried to make it look as if Christofi had shot himself.

In January 2003, Williams paid Christofi’s family $2.75 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit.

Williams, who retired in 1999 because of a leg injury, played nine seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets.

9 Responses to “Jayson Williams Sentenced To 5 Years In Prison”

  1. LowRidaz said

    Damn Goodbye Jason!!! damn fool

  2. Yeah I Said It said

    How can you start off with a great career and end it in jail of all places. People don’t know when they are blessed.

  3. Mrs. 2020VIZN♥ said

    I gonna miss u boo -NOT!!!

    They will looove ur pretty ass in prison -literally lolol. Now let’s see u ‘shoot’ that ass up lol.

  4. Terrance said

    The judicial system can really drag ish out. This should have been over with. Jason shot his limo driver eight years ago and they’re just handing down the sentence. What ever happened to the Amendment VI right to a “speedy” trial.

    Jason will be alright though, because he was only sentenced to 5 years. Most likely he will be in a facility with dudes with similar sentences. He would need 20yrs or more to eligible for Trenton State Prison.

  5. MissTX said

    Again, I thought he was already in prison for that. So now I wanna know, why they wait 8 damn yrs. to lock his ass up?

    The victim’s family should have gotten closure right after this happened.

  6. Jayla said

    Another Down-Low thug who threw his fortune and reputation away like so much trash. Good luck in prison cutie.

  7. […] Jayson Williams was sentenced to 5 years in prison yesterday for fatally shooting his Limo Driver back in 2002. This closes the chapter on one of many incidents were a Black celebrity derails their career b/c they decided on gun-play as opposed to playing on the court or field, or playing the leading role in the latest movie, or playing to a sold out arena for 100k. Just last month Gilbert Arenas and teammate Javaris Crittenton were both suspended for the remainder of the season for bringing guns into the locker room at the Verizon Center. Lil Wayne is soon to serve a year for gun possession, Prodigy of Mobb Deep is currently locked up for a gun charge as well as Remy Ma. Shyne was recently released from prison after serving more than 8 years for shooting a woman in the face @ a nightclub in Manhattan. Remember Cavs point guard Delonte West’s incident over the summer where he was pulled over and police found several different firearms in his possession.  We now refer to someone causing bodily harm to themselves or getting in their own way as “Plaxicoing yourself” b/c of former Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress and his incident were he shot himself in the thigh over Thanksgiving weekend in 08. The crazy part about it is these  are only the incidents I can remember off the top of my head (Insane!). […]

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