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Former NBA Star Jayson Williams Found Not Guilty of Manslaughter - 2004-05-01

Former National Basketball Association star Jayson Williams has been found not guilty of manslaughter in the death of a former limousine driver at his home in New Jersey.

Williams, a former All-Star with the New Jersey Nets, was found not guilty on the most serious charge of aggravated manslaughter in the death of driver Costas "Gus" Christofi at the basketball star's mansion in New Jersey in February of 2002.

Williams was found guilty of four lesser charges, including tampering with evidence and attempting to cover up the shooting. The jury said it could not reach a verdict on one of the more serious counts, a charge of reckless manslaughter.

The judge in the case could sentence Williams to between probation and five years in prison on each of the lesser counts.

Witnesses had testified that Williams had taken a shotgun from a cabinet, opened it, uttered an obscenity at Christofi and snapped the gun shut. The gun fired and Christofi was hit in the chest.

Several witnesses testified that Williams had wiped the gun and put it in the victim's hands to make it look like a suicide. The defense maintained the shooting was an accident and that the gun misfired.