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Jayson Williams Sentenced - 5 Years Behind Bars

2/23/2010 10:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Former NBA star Jayson Williams was just sentenced to five years in prison for the 2002 shooting death of his limo driver, Costas Christofi, and will be available for parole after 18 months.

Jayson Williams Sentenced - 5 Years Behind Bars

During the hearing, Christofi's sister held up a photo of him, while a rep for the family stood up and said Jayson had never apologized to the family for killing Christofi. The rep begged the judge to make Jayson serve all five years in prison without probation.

Jayson eventually stood up, teary-eyed, and apologized to them ... along with his own family, church and the NBA.

Jayson was eventually handcuffed and taken out of the courtroom. We're told he'll be taken to the Hunterdon County Correctional Facility ... where he could remain for weeks until he's moved to his permanent lodging.

We were live inside Somerset County Courthouse in New Jersey during Jayson's sentencing this morning, below are the highlights from the hearing ... video to follow.

UPDATE 9:35 AM ET: It has begun. The prosecutor just asked the judge to sentence Jayson to 5 years behind bars with a minimum of 18 months with parole. The prosecutor told the judge Jayson has a "dark side."

UPDATE 9:44 AM ET: The prosecutor asked the judge to take in consideration Jayson was convicted in 2004 of 4 "cover up" charges related to the shooting.

UPDATE 10:11 AM ET: Christofi's sister just held up a photo of her brother, while a rep for the family stood up and said Jayson has never shown remorse over the shooting, and has never apologized to her family. The rep said Jayson should have to serve all five years without parole.

UPDATE 10:25 AM ET
: Jayson's lawyer is up now. He's explaining about how hard Jayson's life has been ... including the deaths of his sisters from AIDS. He's also talking about Jayson's charity work and donations.

UPDATE 11:00 AM ET: Jayson just stood up and apologized to Christofi's family. He said he knows there's nothing he can do to bring him back. Jayson teared up, and apologized to his family, his church and the NBA.


UPDATE 11:03 AM ET: The judge is addressing Jayson directly. He thanks him for the apologies ... but said Jayson will pay the price for his actions.

UPDATE 11:15 AM ET
: The judge just sentenced Jayson to 5 years in prison, with parole available after 18 months. Jayson has 45 days to appeal. Jayson was just taken out of the courtroom in handcuffs.
72 COMMENTS

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1.

Alissia    

Vile negros thats funny thats got to be a black person funny homie funny

1641 days ago
2.

hmmm    

I hope he gets gang raped in the pokey! I mean how can you kill somebody and get 18 monthes or even 5 years when you took someones life??

1641 days ago
3.

bob    

what's with the retard in the wheelchair. like that doughhead has a clue what's going on.

1641 days ago
4.

Krystin    

Is there any significance to the guy in the wheelchair?

1641 days ago
5.

Krystin    

Bob, I just saw your comment...WTF is wrong with you?

1641 days ago
6.

Mary    

Getting ready to talk about this on 97.5 KMOD in Tulsa ... kmod.com. Thanks TMZ for the live coverage.

1641 days ago
7.

rob    

sound????

1641 days ago
8.

gog    

good deal. another black loser thug off the streets

1641 days ago
9.

MJFAN212    

R.I.P M.JACKSON

1641 days ago
10.

Allen Ridak    

haha, good effort #1!!

Wish they would hurry the eff up

1641 days ago
11.

Henchy    

So where is the audio?

1641 days ago
12.

HMark    

Cameraman: RAISE YOUR MIC LEVELS!!!

1641 days ago
13.

Henchy    

Not familiar with the case - but 18 months (out in 10 months) for killing someone? If he was never an NBA player what would he be looking at?

1641 days ago
14.

Stoney    

What's with the two guys with the white spot on their head? Sitting at the table and in the front row. Related? Twins?

1641 days ago
15.

Mike    

5 years? damn...

1641 days ago
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