Jayson Williams Asks Court to Toss DWI Case

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Former NBA star Jayson Williams had done nothing illegal and was just sitting in his wrecked car when police arrested him on drunken-driving charges earlier this year, a defense lawyer said Monday.

    The former New Jersey Nets player "had not, was not or was not about to do any act which constituted a crime,'' attorney Oscar
    Holt III wrote in urging a judge to toss out the case.

    Williams is serving a five-year prison sentence in New Jersey after pleading guilty there to aggravated assault for fatally  shooting a limo driver in 2002. But the drunken-driving case remains open in Manhattan, where prosecutors have said his blood-alcohol level was more than double the legal limit after his Mercedes-Benz SUV crashed into a tree Jan. 5.

    The Manhattan district attorney's office had no immediate response to the papers filed Monday, saying prosecutors hadn't had
    time to review them.

    A bloodied Williams was in the SUV's front passenger seat when police officers arrived. He told them that he wasn't driving and
    that the driver had left. But prosecutors have said surveillance video and witnesses establish that Williams was alone in the car.

    Williams' lawyers are questioning the three witnesses' identification of Williams as the driver. The witnesses weren't shown anyone else, Holt wrote. ``Of course the people are going to say it was him,'' Holt said by telephone Monday.

    Prosecutors have said in court papers that the identification was legitimate.

    Williams, 42, has pleaded not guilty to driving while intoxicated. If convicted, he could face up to a year in jail.

    Williams played nine seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Nets before a leg injury forced him to retire in 2000. He was in
    the second year of a six-year, $86 million contract with the Nets.

    He became an NBA analyst for NBC but was suspended after the New Jersey shooting of driver Costas Christofi.

    Williams said his double-barreled 12-gauge shotgun fired while he was showing it to friends. He acknowledged he hadn't checked the safety mechanism.