Originally created 02/24/02

Report says Williams faces manslaughter



TRENTON, N.J. - A prosecutor would not confirm a report that former basketball star Jayson Williams had arranged to surrender to authorities and face a manslaughter charge in a shooting death at his estate.

Television station WNBC in New York, citing an unidentified investigator, reported late Friday that Williams would be charged with manslaughter during a Monday meeting with Hunterdon County authorities.

Acting county prosecutor Steven C. Lember said Saturday that he "couldn't confirm their story in its entirety, but I couldn't deny it in its entirety either."

Lember said the station incorrectly reported that he was scheduled to meet Monday with Williams and his attorney, Joseph Hayden, but he wouldn't say what part of that was wrong.

"To deny aspects of that story would be a lie, and I'm not going to do that," Lember said.

The prosecutor said he did not expect any developments in the case until at least Monday.

Hayden did not return a message left with his office Saturday morning and has refused to speak with reporters for the past week. Williams' home phone was disconnected last week.

Costas Christofi, 55, a limousine driver, was found shot to death at Williams' 65-acre estate earlier this month.

Published reports have quoted unidentified law enforcement sources saying Williams was holding the shotgun when it accidentally went off. Authorities have not said who fired the gun.