Jayson Williams Retrial Set for March 7

Jayson Williams Retrial Set for March 7
Don Murray/Getty

12/03/2004 AT 08:00 AM EST

Former NBA star Jayson Williams will be retried on a manslaughter charge in the 2002 shotgun death of a limousine driver at his mansion, a judge ruled Thursday.

The start date of the new trial was also postponed from Jan. 10 to March 7, because one of Williams's five lawyers had surgery in October. Jury selection is set to begin March 7.

While he barred prosecutors from mentioning the basketball player's attempted cover-up of the shooting when the case is retried, New Jersey Judge Edward Coleman denied requests by Williams's legal team to dismiss the reckless manslaughter charge, reports the Associated Press.

The onetime New Jersey Nets star, 36, faces a retrial because of a mixed verdict delivered April 30, in which he was acquitted of the most serious charge against him, aggravated manslaughter. Yet the jury remained deadlocked on the charge of reckless manslaughter. He was convicted of charges stemming from an attempt to conceal the shooting.

Prosecutors contend Williams was handling the gun recklessly when it went off and killed Costas "Gus" Christofi, 55, while the defense maintained the shooting was accidental. Williams's lawyers had argued that double jeopardy prevented the former NBA star from being tried again for the shooting.

The judge disagreed.

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