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Former NBA Star Jayson Williams Enters Guilty Plea

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By Kamika Dunlap on January 11, 2010 2:00 PM

Former NBA star Jayson Williams entered a guilty plea to fatally shooting his limo driver in 2002.

Williams' plea to aggravated assault in connection to the accidental killing of his limosinue driver in his bedroom finally closes the book on a case that has been dragged out for nearly eight years, the Associated Press reports.

Williams, 41, will serve at least 18 months in prison. He also is awaiting retrial on a reckless manslaughter count but pleaded guilty to the lesser count for the 2002 death of limo driver Costas Christofi.

The assault charge carries a minimum 18-month sentence because a gun was involved. The reckless manslaughter count would have carried a maximum 10-year prison sentence. Under his plea agreement, Williams will serve 18 months to five years in state prison and would be eligible for parole after 18 months.

Witnesses testified that Williams was showing off his gun in the bedroom of his New Jersey mansion when it went off. It struck driver Costas Christofi in the chest, killing him. They also testified that Williams tried to cover it up and instructed that those present to lie about what happened.

Williams' defense attorney has maintained the shooting was an accident and that he panicked afterward. Up to now, he has remained free on bail.

Williams retired from the NBA in 2000 after playing with the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets.

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