Former New Jersey Nets star Jayson Williams has been meted a five-year sentence for a 2002 shooting incident that led to the death of limo driver Costas Christofi. Williams, who tearfully apologized to the family of Christofi, will be eligible for parole after serving one and a half years of his sentence.
The case dragged on for eight years after the jury hit a deadlock in 2004 with regard to the reckless manslaughter charge against the former basketball player. Williams was convicted that year for covering up the shooting incident. Last month, he pleaded guilty to the manslaughter charge, paving the way for the conclusion of the celebrated case.
In his apology, Williams said that “there’s not a day I wake up that I don’t feel sorry for what I did.” Christofi’s sister Andrea Adams said in a letter that the five-year sentence was too short for the gravity of the crime.
The incident occurred in 2002, while Williams was showing off his gun collection to some friends. In his plea statement, Williams said a 12-gauge shotgun he was holding fired after snapping it shut, hitting the 55-year-old Christofi in the chest. Williams admitted that he failed to check whether the gun’s safety mechanism was in place.