Wednesday , Feb , 24 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Jayson Williams to Serve at Least 18 Months

Former NBA star Jayson Williams was sentenced to five years in prison Tuesday for fatally shooting a hired limo driver in 2002, ending an eight-year legal odyssey by tearfully apologizing to the victim’s family. He will be eligible for parole in 18 months.

Williams, avoiding a retrial on a reckless manslaughter count that deadlocked the jury at his 2004 trial, pleaded guilty last month to aggravated assault in the death of Costas Christofi on Feb. 14, 2002. At the same 2004 trial, he was acquitted of aggravated manslaughter but convicted on four counts of covering up the shooting.

The sentences on the assault and cover-up counts will run concurrently. State Superior Court Judge Edward Coleman went along with a plea agreement that spelled out the five-year prison sentence and the potential for Williams to be released as early as summer 2011. 

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