SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Prosecutors for the trial of former NBA
All-Star Jayson Williams have decided he will be retried on
a reckless manslaughter charge in the death of a limousine
driver two years ago.
A tentative date for the new trial is Jan. 10, 2005.
Williams was acquitted of the most serious charge last
month, aggravated manslaughter. The jury was deadlocked 8-4
on reckless manslaughter, a charge carrying up to 10 years
The former player also was cleared of aggravated assault
and a weapons charge, but was convicted on four counts
stemming from a failed effort to conceal the shotgun
shooting of Costas "Gus" Christofi.
Williams' defense maintained the shooting was an accident
and that the weapon misfired.
Williams, 36, is still free on bail. He faces probation to
about five years in prison on the cover-up charges, but
Superior Court Judge Edward Coleman ruled that Williams
will not be sentenced until the new reckless manslaughter
case is resolved.
Family members of the victim were pleased prosecutors were
pursuing another trial, but were upset that Williams will
not be immediately sentenced.
Christofi, 55, was among a group of friends and Harlem
Globetrotters who were touring Williams' mansion on Feb.
14, 2002. He had driven some of the players from their
hotel to a restaurant with Williams and his friends, then
took them to the estate.
Testimony said Williams took a loaded shotgun from a
cabinet, uttered an obscenity at Christofi and snapped the
weapon closed. It fired once, sending 12 pellets into
Christofi's chest. He died within minutes.