- Joined Jul 16, 2002
[h1] Jayson Williams Sentenced to 5 Years [/h1] [h2]"I'm not a bad man, but I acted badly," says tearful Williams[/h2] [h5]ByTRACIE STRAHAN and BRIAN THOMPSON [/h5]
Former NJ Nets star Jayson Williamswas sentenced Tuesday morning to five years behind bars for his role inthe 2002 shooting of his limo driver Costas "Gus" Christofi. He mustserve a minimum of 18 months before he can be eligible for parole.
JudgeEdward Coleman accepted the plea deal Williams agreed to last month. Inreturn for pleading guilty, the state changed the charge against him toaggravated assault instead of reckless manslaughter.
A remorseful Williams cried as he apologized to his family and begged for forgiveness.
"Forgiveme for the pain I have caused," said a tearful Williams in court. "Youdeserve a better father, brother, son than I have been."
Williamswas acquitted of aggravated manslaughter in 2004 but convicted on fourcounts of covering up the shooting. His sentence for those convictionswill run concurrent to the assault sentence.
Prosecutors say it's about time Williams face the consequences of his behavior.
"Mr. Williams has a dark side," said Steven Farman of the StateAttorney General's office. " With wealth and fame comes responsibility.It is time, after eight long years, for Mr. Christofi's voice to beheard."
Farmanadded that in Williams' bedroom was "an arsenal of weapons to arm asmall militia -- There's a reason why we call it a deadly weapon."
Williamsapologized profusely to the Christofi family, saying he's visited thedead man's grave more times than he has his own father's.
"Frommy heart there's not a day I don't wake up and feel sorry for what Idid to Mr. Christofi," Williams said. "I'm not a bad man, but I actedbadly."
Freeon bail since pleading guilty last month, Williams, who turned 42on Monday, has been wearing an alcohol monitoring bracelet as orderedby a judge.
This after being charged with drunk driving for crashing his SUV in Manhattan.
Judge Coleman told Williams in court that he blames alcohol "for you being here today."
Williams will reportedly be transported to a facility in Trenton. After spending time there, authorities will decide the location where he'll serve his sentence.