Guilty Plea Expected From Jayson Williams

Former Philadelphia 76er, Jayson Williams, is expected to plead guilty Friday in the fatal 2002 shooting of a hired driver, weeks before he faced a second trial for reckless manslaughter.
A person with knowledge of the case told The Associated Press that Williams will plead guilty to aggravated assault. The person
wasn't authorized to talk about the case and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Williams was acquitted of aggravated manslaughter in 2004 but convicted of covering up the shooting at his central New Jersey
He was facing retrial on a reckless manslaughter charge, which carries a 10-year maximum sentence. An aggravated assault charge linked to a crime involving a gun carries a minimum 18-month sentence.
A guilty plea would bring a close to a lengthy legal battle. It all started the night of Feb. 13, 2002, when Williams brought a group of friends back to his mansion after attending a Harlem
Globetrotters basketball game.
Witnesses testified that Williams, who had been drinking, was showing off a shotgun in his bedroom when he snapped it shut and it fired, hitting driver Costas "Gus'' Christofi in the chest.
They also said Williams put the gun in the dead man's hands and told them to lie about what happened. He was eventually convicted on four counts of covering up the shooting.
The 2004 trial jury acquitted Williams of aggravated manslaughter but deadlocked on reckless manslaughter. He was
scheduled to be retried on that charge in January.
The 41-year-old Williams played nine seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets before a leg injury forced him to retire in 2000. He attempted a short-lived comeback in the minor league Continental Basketball Association in 2005.
In 2003, Williams paid Christofi's family $2.75 million to settle a wrongful-death lawsuit.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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