The former New Jersey Nets player pleaded guilty Monday to fatally shooting his limo driver with a shotgun and has agreed - as part of his plea deal - to serve 18 months to five years in jail. Williams, 41, who would be eligible for parole after serving the minimum, calmly admitted that he failed to check that the safety was on before he closed the shotgun with a snap - and it fired off a round that felled Costas (Gus) Christofi.
"I didn't look in the direction the muzzle of the gun was pointed," he said, before admitting that his handling of the gun was reckless. It was not clear when Williams will be sentenced. He has been free on bail since the February 2002 shooting. His guilty plea to an aggravated assault charge closes the book on a case that took eight years to resolve and brought only a measure of justice that the Christofi family had been seeking. Williams was facing retrial for a more serious charge - reckless manslaughter - for accidentally killing the 55-year-old driver. There was no immediate reaction from Christofi's family.