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One more year for Williams


marciadottin, [email protected]

One more year for Williams

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NEW YORK – A chastened Jayson Williams has admitted he was driving drunk when he slammed his SUV into a tree, capping years of legal and personal problems with a guilty plea that adds more time behind bars for the already imprisoned former NBA star.His voice sometimes unsteady, Williams apologised to his family and said he was working to rebuild his life as he pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated in the January 5 crash.His one-year sentence – the maximum for the misdemeanor offence – will follow the five-year prison term he’s serving in New Jersey for accidentally shooting and killing a limo driver.“It seems excessive, but it’s a small price to pay if it helps to deter drunk driving,” Williams, 42, said in a Manhattan court on Friday.“I’ll be the poster child for that if it’s going to save lives.”“I’m doing the best I can in New Jersey so this will never happen again,” added Williams, dressed in a tan inmate uniform. He nodded to supporters, including his frail mother, before being led out of court.The former New Jersey Net was a top player with a six-year, US$86 million contract before a leg injury forced him to retire in 2000. A first-round NBA draft pick in 1990, he played nine seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Nets. He averaged ten or more rebounds a game in his final four NBA seasons and was named to an All-Star team.Two years after retiring, he killed chauffeur Costas Christofi with a 12-gauge shotgun while showing it to friends, having failed to check the weapon’s safety mechanism. Williams then wiped down the weapon and placed it in Christofi’s hands, stripped off his own clothes, handed them to a friend and jumped into his pool, according to testimony. Williams’ lawyers said his actions were driven by panic.The shooting marked the start of a cascade of troubles for Williams, who was promptly suspended from his post-basketball job as an NBA analyst for NBC. (AP)

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