Archive for Thursday, April 1, 2004

Williams won’t testify at manslaughter trial

April 1, 2004


— Former NBA player Jayson Williams told the judge at his manslaughter trial Wednesday that he won't take the stand in his own defense.

"I am innocent, I put my trust in God and I have great confidence in this jury," Williams said, just before his defense team rested its case in the 2002 shooting death of a limousine driver at Williams' mansion.

He told Superior Court Judge Edward M. Coleman he made the decision after discussions with his wife and lawyers. Jurors were not in the courtroom at the time.

The suggestion that Williams, 36, would testify came during opening arguments last month, when defense lawyer Billy Martin told jurors: "Jayson Williams will tell you what happened that night. Jayson Williams will tell you how this horrific, totally unforeseeable accident occurred."

The defense has attempted to show that Williams was not aware that the driver, Costas "Gus" Christofi, 55, was in the bedroom with him while he was giving a tour to friends and members of the Harlem Globetrotters. Williams picked up a shotgun, snapped it shut and it fired, killing Christofi.

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