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Archive for Friday, February 14, 2003

Year tumultuous for Williams

Charges mounting against ex-NBA player after shooting

February 14, 2003

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— In the year since a limousine driver was shot to death in Jayson Williams' home, the retired NBA star has watched the charges against him multiply, the possible prison time quadruple and his friends agree to testify against him.

An appeals court will hear arguments for dismissing the charges next month, but that has only pushed the criminal trial -- and any resolution for Williams -- further into the future.

"We're just taking it day by day, and our focus now is the court of appeals hearing on March 12," Williams spokeswoman Judy Smith said Thursday.

Williams, the former New Jersey Nets center who parlayed his sense of humor into a book deal and a job as an NBA analyst for NBC, met driver Costas Christofi on Feb. 13, 2002. About 2:40 a.m. a 12-gauge Browning shotgun discharged, and the pellets ripped into Christofi's chest. Eight days later, a judge signed a warrant for Williams' arrest.

Williams, 34, initially was charged with reckless manslaughter, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Prosecutors later added charges, including evidence and witness tampering, and a grand jury opted for a more serious manslaughter charge.

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