The Athletic Reporter
September 12, 2005 Sports News the Way You Want It. Completely Made Up. Issue 127
Jayson Williams Found Not Guilty of Killing That Guy He Killed
Originally posted 5/4/2004

SOMERVILLE, NJ - Former New Jersey Nets star and television broadcaster Jayson Williams was found not guilty Friday of killing Gus Christofi, a limousine driver he killed in February of 2002, as the former All Star was acquitted on the charge of manslaughter. The incident in question took place in Williams' home as the allegedly drunk Williams recklessly handled a loaded shotgun in a crowded room. The gun subsequently went off and killed Christofi.

Williams was found guilty of four lesser charges, including tampering with evidence and attempting to cover up his role in the incident. The jury did not reach a verdict on the charge of reckless manslaughter.

"I just want to put this all behind me," Williams said following the verdict. "Yeah, I killed the guy, but I'm really sorry and I feel bad about it. And I admitted what happened, too, as soon as investigators seemed like they weren't buying my first couple of stories."

"I'm pleased with the verdict," Williams' attorney Joseph Hayden said, "and I'm pleased to know that the system works. Jayson Williams never intended to kill that guy, so, he shouldn't have to go to jail just because he ended up killing that guy."

Defense attorney Bill Martin said that he felt the jury's verdict was just as well. "Look, people are going to get killed by shotguns. You walk into a former NBA star's mansion with a bunch of his friends, assorted members of his entourage and a few Harlem Globetrotters, that's the kind of risk you're taking. If we went after every rich person who got plastered, waved a shotgun around and plugged a limo driver in the chest, then wiped his prints off the gun and put it in the dead body's hands, then stripped and ordered somebody to dispose of his clothing, and threatened everybody else who'd seen what happened that they'd better say they didn't see it, we'd have no time to go after the real criminals."

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