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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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Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
61.

Ken    

5 years for taking a gun, while drunk, shooting and killing someone, then trying to cover up the killing. ... Money and fame talk loudly once again. Plus it was 8 years ago this event happened. Nice justice system.

1641 days ago
62.

moveover    

Your headline is wrong! He didn't get 5 years behind bars. He's only getting a year and a half for killing someone! Our system of justice has become beyond ridiculous!

1641 days ago
63.

DAVID    



BET HE WILL HAVE A DIFFERENT UNDERSTANDING TO WHAT THE TERM "RIM SHOT" MEANS IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS. HE'LL GET INTRODUCED TO SOME REAL "ALABAMA BLACK SNAKE" SOON. HE'S SUCH A CREAPY DUDE....

1641 days ago
64.

HD    

So Plaxico Burress, who is alive after shooting himself gets 2 years for a weapons charge. Jayson Williams will have probation in 18 months??????

1641 days ago
65.

Robin    

Should not this dude be charged with 2nd degree murder? I believe like everyone else, what has happened to the justice system?

1641 days ago
66.

muah    

this happened in my town.. i cant believe it took this long to sentence that loser

1641 days ago
67.

John Edwards    

Another case of fame and $ getting an extremely light sentance. This piece of sh*t should be doing life. What a sad joke.

1641 days ago
68.

kristy    

THIS right here totally disgusts me..had that been me or anyone else who wasnt "famous" we would never see or feel the sunshine again...sad reminder of what a jacked up 2faced lying country we live in..and if you dont think your getting it in the rear then you are luckly not smart enough to know when your being jipped and therefor deserve it..eye for an eye...id rather not go to work and have to pay to put this POS up in a "penthouse" jailcell..i say we jus take him out back and spend money on 3 bullets..its a hell of a lot cheap and we will have one less piece of trash to deal with. I am a single mother of 2 children one of which was born disabled my husband died 5 years ago and i cant even make all my bills..now i gotta pay for this moron...good thing im leaving this country..whole place makes me sick..gov. justice system all of it..HUGE waste of our time

1640 days ago
69.

Black    

I think that he deserves more jail time then that life for a life. The same way it should have been when slavery day was here. When the white snakes use to hang colored people. And you wonder where the thug life came from... From all the ignorant,mineless,thug manner that you white people have potrade for years and now that we will whip your tails with a snap of a finger you want to turn the tables and call us thugs!!! Typical Whitey Cracker (dog smelling pigs!!!)I'm not a heartless person just a fair one...Kiss off! Keep chewing your tabacco and hiding behind your white sheets!!!! Cowards!!! This goes to anyone that brought race into the conversation!!!

1591 days ago
70.

williamjstrauss    

the shooting was an accident with negligence, he got five years because he tried to cover it up.

1550 days ago
71.

jayson    

it sucks

1464 days ago
72.

smitty    

He is of Polish, Italian and African-American descent but of course when somebody does something bad they are only and always African-American...

1461 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

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