Attorneys for former Nets star Jayson Williams have asked jurors to acquit him in the shooting death of a hired driver, calling it an unforeseeable accident. Prosecutors said it was a crime that resulted from a series of conscious decisions, reports the Newark Star-Ledger. Jury deliberations are to begin today.
Prosecutor Steven Lember sought to refute defense claims that the death of Costas “Gus” Christofi, 55, in the master bedroom of Williams’ home was an accident caused by a malfunctioning shotgun. “When you choose to play with a deadly weapon, you choose to play with life and death,” Lember said. “‘Accident’ is no defense.”
Defense attorney Joseph Hayden told jurors, “The overriding issue you’re going to have to address is whether the death of Mr. Christofi was an accident or a crime.” Hayden denigrated the state’s investigation (“They had a high-profile case and they were going to rush forward”), the eyewitnesses (including one who testified for the state after getting a “sweetheart deal”), a gun expert for the state and the prosecutors themselves (“Is it only a coincidence that we didn’t get important discovery evidence until after we had rested?”)