Jayson Williams slightly hurt in crash

January 5, 2010 5:12:57 AM PST
Former NBA player Jayson Williams was taken to a hospital with minor injuries Tuesday after his SUV struck a tree.

The New York Police Department said it appeared Williams may have been drinking before the accident at 3:15 a.m. at a northbound exit of the FDR Drive in Manhattan. However, he has not been charged.

Williams was in the passenger seat when officers arrived and told them someone else had been driving. But witnesses told police they saw him in the driver's seat, and officers said no one else was in the car.

The black Mercedes-Benz SUV veered off the curved exit at East 20th Street, authorities said. Williams was taken to Bellevue Hospital.

The name of his attorney was not immediately on record. Last month, lawyers in New Jersey asked to be removed from his defense against a reckless manslaughter charge stemming from a 2002 shooting.

Williams retired from the New Jersey Nets in 2000 after a decade in the NBA, unable to overcome a broken leg suffered a year earlier when he collided on court with a teammate. He was suspended from his job as an NBA analyst for NBC after the shooting.

Williams is scheduled to be retried on the reckless manslaughter count that produced a deadlocked jury in 2004.

Witnesses testified that Williams was showing off a shotgun in his bedroom in February 2002 when he snapped the weapon shut and it fired one shot that struck a hired driver, Costas Christofi, in the chest. They also testified that Williams initially placed the gun in the dead man's hands and instructed those present to lie about what happened.

The defense maintained the shooting was an accident and that Williams panicked afterward.

The jury deadlocked on the reckless manslaughter count, acquitted Williams of aggravated manslaughter and convicted him of covering up the shooting. He was never sentenced for the cover-up counts, pending the outcome of the retrial, and has remained free on bail.


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