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Former Super Bowl star Plaxico Burress appears before judge Michael Melkonian for his sentencing in Manhattan criminal court, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009, in New York. Burress was sentenced Tuesday to two years in prison after accidentally shooting himself in the thigh at a nightclub and later reaching a plea deal on weapons charges.
Former Giants Super Bowl star Plaxico Burress has come up short in his bid for work release during his two-year prison sentence for accidentally shooting himself in the leg at a nightclub, prison officials said Tuesday.
The state Department of Correctional Services said the nature of his November 2008 crime merited denying his request for a work furlough, which would have let him spend some portion of his time free and working.
"The serious and negative impact illegal guns have on the community coupled with [the] dangerous nature of the weapon discharging in a public place renders him unsuitable for work release," the agency said.
Burress' lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, didn't immediately return a telephone call seeking comment Tuesday.
The request was Burress' second since he started serving his sentence last September. He can appeal the decision but otherwise can't reapply for a work furlough until next June.
For now, the wide receiver remains in protective custody, because of his notoriety, at a prison in the central New York community of Oneida.
Burress, 33, pleaded guilty last year to attempted criminal possession of a weapon.
The case began when Burress went to the Latin Quarter nightclub with a .40-caliber gun tucked into the waistband of his track pants. He later said he was concerned for his safety because a teammate had been held up at gunpoint days before.
The weapon slipped down Burress' leg and fired, injuring his right thigh. Prosecutors said the bullet narrowly missed a security guard.
The gun wasn't licensed in New York or New Jersey, where Burress was living, and his Florida concealed-weapons permit had expired. He also failed to report the incident to authorities.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has ruled that Burress would be reinstated and eligible to sign with a team upon the completion of his sentence.
Giants general manager Jerry Reese has said the team will keep its options open with Burress, who caught the winning touchdown for the Giants over the New England Patriots in the final minute of the 2008 Super Bowl. And some current members of the team seem ready to welcome him back: Halfback Brandon Jacobs went to training camp one day this summer sporting a custom-made T-shirt saying "Free 17 Let Him Ball Out," a reference to Burress' No. 17 jersey.
Corrections officials say Burress has had a satisfactory record in prison, with one "misbehavior report." A corrections officer said Burress lied last November about having permission to use the phone to call his lawyer at a time when calls aren't permitted, the report shows.