Burress gets two years

Facing the prospect of spending at least 31/2 years behind bars, one-time Super Bowl star Plaxico Burress on Thursday accepted a plea bargain with a two-year prison sentence for accidentally shooting himself in the thigh at a Manhattan nightclub.

Former New York Giant Plaxico Burress leaves Manhattan criminal court in New York

NEW YORK — Facing the prospect of spending at least 31/2 years behind bars, one-time Super Bowl star Plaxico Burress on Thursday accepted a plea bargain with a two-year prison sentence for accidentally shooting himself in the thigh at a Manhattan nightclub.

The former New York Giants wide receiver pleaded guilty to one count of attempted criminal possession of a weapon, a lesser charge than he had faced. He will be sentenced Sept. 22, and lawyer Benjamin Brafman said he expects Burress to begin serving his sentence immediately after.

Burress got into a black SUV without speaking to reporters outside Manhattan state Supreme Court, but Brafman said, “After agonizing period of discussion, Plaxico decided that he wanted to do this, to put this behind him as quickly as possible.”

The ex-football star was indicted earlier this month on two counts of criminal possession of a weapon and one count of reckless endangerment. He faced a minimum sentence of 3 1/2 years if convicted at a trial.

The guilty plea ends months of haggling between Brafman and the Manhattan district attorney’s office. The case went to a grand jury after negotiations broke down, apparently because District Attorney Robert Morgenthau was insisting that Burress serve at least two years in prison.

Morgenthau did not comment on Burress’ guilty plea.

Assistant District attorney John Wolfstaetter said in court that Thursday was Burress’ last chance to accept the deal.

Burress, looking subdued and wearing a dark blue suit, first entered a not-guilty plea to the initial charges against him. After Brafman informed Judge Michael Melkonian that Burress had decided to plead to the lesser charge, Burress said, “Guilty” to attempted weapons possession in the second degree.

Brafman said the 32-year-old Burress was thinking of his family in taking the plea, but the lawyer questioned the recommended prison sentence.

“This was not an intentional criminal act,” Brafman said. “In my judgment, a two-year prison sentence is a very severe punishment.”

With time off for good behaviour, Burress will likely serve 20 months. He will be monitored during an additional two years of supervised release.

He also could face disciplinary action by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. The NFL did not immediately comment Thursday.

Brafman said he hoped any discipline imposed by the league could be concurrent with the prison sentence so that Burress could resume his career when he is released, which could come as early as the spring of 2011.

The Giants released Burress in April, but his former teammates said they were saddened by Thursday’s news.

“He is a friend of mine, a great teammate. We won a championship with him. I am saddened by the news — two years,” quarterback Eli Manning said. “Again, I just wish the best for him and his family and try to support him any way we can.”

Pro Bowl defensive end Justin Tuck said his heart sank when he learned of the plea.

“Today when I heard the news, my heart went out to him and his family, and obviously I’m just hoping that everything turns out all right in the end,” Tuck said.

Burress, who caught the winning touchdown for the Giants over the New England Patriots in the final minute of the 2008 Super Bowl, and former teammate Antonio Pierce were at the Latin Quarter nightclub in late November when a gun tucked into Burress’ waistband slipped down his leg and fired, shooting him in the right thigh. The bullet narrowly missed a nightclub security guard who was standing inches away, prosecutors said. It lodged in the floor and was recovered by a bartender.

The gun was not licensed in New York or in New Jersey, where Burress lived. His license to carry a concealed weapon in the state of Florida had expired in May 2008.

Just Posted

City of Red Deer gets ball rolling on annexing more land

”It’s important we look ahead,” says Mayor Veer

Walmart melding online and in-store shopping

South Red Deer Walmart recently underwent six months of renovations

Updated: Nature trail unveiled at RDC

Trail unveiling and tree planting honours Nova Chemicals $2 million donation

Video: Windows smashed at three Red Deer businesses

Red Deer RCMP arrest man after vandalism spree

Automated cars could kill wide range of jobs, federal documents say

OTTAWA — More than one million jobs could be lost to the… Continue reading

McGill research finds significant driving impairment 5 hours after cannabis use

MONTREAL — Driving under the influence of cannabis remains dangerous even five… Continue reading

Family: Remembering the important things

It seems so much of life is work and routine and then… Continue reading

Canada gets into Women’s World Cup with 7-0 win over Panama

FRISCO, Texas — Christine Sinclair isn’t concerned about chasing records. She’s set… Continue reading

Baldwin urges ‘overthrow’ of Trump government via voting

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Actor Alec Baldwin followed up his latest parody portrayal… Continue reading

Prince Harry and Meghan expecting their 1st child in spring

CANBERRA, Australia — Prince Harry and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex,… Continue reading

Sears files for Chapter 11 amid plunging sales, massive debt

NEW YORK — Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, buckling… Continue reading

Doctors to debate medical pot as more patients expected to ask for prescriptions

VANCOUVER — Doctors with opposing views on whether medical marijuana should be… Continue reading

Most Read