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March 24, 2004
JAYSON WILLIAMS’S GUN GOES ON THREE-STATE KILLING SPREE
Rampage Bolsters Defense Theory That Gun Acted Alone
A shotgun belonging to former NBA star Jayson Williams escaped from Mr. Williams’s manslaughter trial in Somerville, N.J. today and went on what law-enforcement officials called â€œa senseless three-state killing spree.
The shotgun’s startling escape from the courtroom occurred just as one of Mr.Williams’s defense lawyers was arguing that a design flaw had caused the gun to fire on its own in the shooting of Mr. Williams’s chauffeur, Costas Gus Christofi.
The Browning 12-gauge, double-barrel gun fired two shots, wounding Judge Edward Coleman and a Hunterdon County bailiff before making its hasty exit, witnesses confirmed.
Mr. Williams’s firearm then carjacked a limo that had been waiting outside and went on its wanton three-state killing rampage.
Law enforcement officials said that as of this afternoon, Mr. Williams’s shotgun had slain four in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut and was last seen driving west on Interstate 287.
While deploring the shotgun’s latest acts of senseless violence, Mr. Williams’s attorneys privately conceded that the gun’s thrill-kill spree probably bolstered their argument that Mr. Williams’s weapon had acted alone in the shooting of Mr. Christofi.
And in Los Angeles today, lawyers for actor Robert Blake and record producer Phil Spector argued that their client’s murder charges should be dropped because their guns may have acted alone or possibly in concert with Jayson Williams’s gun.
It is becoming increasingly clear that people don’t kill people, guns kill people, a lawyer for Mr. Spector said.
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