After pleading guilty last month to aggravated assault in the 2002 death of limo driver Costas Christofi, former Nets player Jayson Williams was sentenced today to five years in prison. Williams, who was recently charged with drunk driving after crashing his Mercedes SUV into a tree near the FDR, will have to serve a minimum of 18 months in prison before he is eligible for parole, and then do a year for DWI if the Manhattan DA has his way. Before his sentencing today, the former NBA star reportedly offered a teary apology:
I know there's nothing I can do to bring Mr. Christofi back. I am deeply deeply sorry... I pray that today brings you some comfort. To my family, please forgive me for the pain I've caused you. You deserve a better father, son, brother than I have been.
In a letter read to the judge, Andrea Adams, Christofi's sister, said it was painful for her to watch Williams "partying around" in recent years as if her loss was "meaningless... Jayson Williams has been treated like a king, and it has been tragic. I believe Jayson Williams is a danger to society and should not be walking the streets. Maybe then my brother can rest in peace."
Williams accidentally killed Christofi in his New Jersey mansion while showing him a shotgun without checking to make sure the gun's safety was on before he snapped it closed. When he pleaded guilty, he admitted to the judge, "I didn't look in the direction the muzzle of the gun was pointed." The State Attorney General recommended the five year sentence because Williams tried to cover up his involvement in the shooting.