Prosecutors Decide to Retry Jayson Williams in Death of Limo Driver

Posted on May 26, 2004 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

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 in prison.

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.

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