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Court to decide on Williams retrial evidence

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Supreme Court said Tuesday it
would consider whether the manslaughter retrial of former NBA star
Jayson Williams can include evidence of what he did after the
shotgun death of a hired driver.

In a related ruling, the court rejected Williams' bid to appeal
a ruling allowing his retrial on a charge of reckless manslaughter.

Williams' attorneys argued that a retrial would amount to double
jeopardy because the earlier jury -- which found him guilty of
covering up the shooting -- acquitted him of aggravated
manslaughter, aggravated assault and a weapons charges stemming
from the same shotgun blast.

Prosecutors want the retrial because the jury didn't reach a
verdict on the reckless manslaughter charge.

The driver, Costas "Gus" Christofi, was shot at Williams'
Hunterdon County estate as Williams was giving a group of people a
tour after a night out. Williams' defense maintained the 2002
shooting was an accident, and that Williams panicked afterward.

The 38-year-old former New Jersey Nets center could face up to
five years in prison when sentenced on the coverup charges.
Reckless manslaughter carries up to 10 years.

Williams' spokeswoman Judy Smith had no immediate comment on the
rulings, both victories for the prosecution. Lawyers for both sides
are under a gag order.