Burress, but not Pierce, indicted

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Burress, but not Pierce, indicted

Post by Mr Moon on Mon 03 Aug 2009, 4:34 pm

Burress, but not Pierce, indicted

NEW YORK -- Former New York Giants star Plaxico Burress was indicted by a grand jury on weapons charges after shooting himself in the thigh at a Manhattan nightclub last year, prosecutors announced Monday.

The indictment charged the 31-year-old Burress with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon and one count of reckless endangerment, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said.

"A grand jury applied the law to the facts of this case," Morgenthau said.

Burress' former teammate, Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce, was not indicted for his role in the incident.

"We certainly agree with the grand jury's decision," Giants president John Mara said in a statement. "We said last week we felt strongly that Antonio's actions did not warrant criminal charges, and obviously the grand jury, having heard all of the testimony, felt the same way."

No one else is likely to face charges in the case, Morgenthau said. He said some of the others involved in the incident "showed first-degree bad judgment," but their actions didn't rise to the level of a crime.

With another starting linebacker, Michael Boley, out until at least the second game of the season, the Giants desperately needed Pierce on the field.

"As I said yesterday, we are anxious to start the new season, nobody more than Antonio," said Giants coach Tom Coughlin, whose team opened camp Sunday. "Today's decision allows him and this team to move forward and focus on our preparation for the season."

Burress was at the Latin Quarter nightclub Nov. 29 when he shot himself in the thigh after a gun tucked in the waist of his track pants slipped down his leg and fired. Authorities say Pierce, who was with Burress at the club, drove his then-teammate to the hospital and took the gun to Burress' home in Totowa, N.J.

The gun was not licensed. No one called police to report the gunshot wound, as required by law: Not the players, nor NFL officials, nor the hospital where Burress was treated.

Both Burress and Pierce testified before the grand jury last week. Burress told reporters then that he was sorry for his actions.

"I was truthful, I was honest, and I'm truly remorseful for what I've done and for what happened," Burress said.

Burress faces up to 3½ years in prison. He pleaded not guilty to weapons charges earlier this year and is free on $100,000 bail.

Burress, who caught the winning touchdown for the Giants over the New England Patriots in the final minute of the 2008 Super Bowl, also could face disciplinary action by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell under the league's personal conduct policy. Goodell's office announced in June that the league already had started its examination of the shooting.

The Giants released Burress in April and he has yet to sign with another team.

ESPN

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