NFL Star Plaxico Burress Gets Two Years In Prison
One-time Super Bowl hero Plaxico Burress was sentenced to two years in prison Tuesday for violating New York’s stringent gun laws and was immediately taken into custody following his hearing.
Burress agreed to a plea deal last month and pleaded guilty to a lesser firearms charge. The charges stemmed from an incident late last fall, in which Burress accidentally shot himself in the thigh at a Manhattan nightclub with a gun that had not been licensed in New York.
He is expected to serve about 20 months with credit for good behavior — meaning he could be released as early as the spring of 2011 — followed by two years of probation.
Burress arrived at the courthouse at 9a.m. on Tuesday accompanied by his pregnant wife, Tiffany; his almost 3-year-old son, Elijah, whom he carried; his father and stepmother; and his grandmother.
Before the sentencing began, Burress asked for and was granted permission by Judge Michael Melkonian to say one last goodbye to his wife and family, seated in the fifth row of the courthouse. The hearing was brief, as the prosecution and defense told the judge they had previously agreed to the guilty plea and two-year sentence. A soft-spoken Burress then apologized to his family and fans and thanked them for their support. “We will all get through this,” he said.
He was then taken into custody.
The Giants, through spokesman Pat Hanlon, said, “This has been a tragic, sad, disappointing situation from the beginning. Our concern has always been for Plax’s welfare, and for his family, and that continues to be our overriding feeling.”
Michael Strahan, a former Giants teammate who is now an NFL television analyst, used his Twitter account to support Burress: “My Thoughts and Prayers are with my man Plaxico and his family today!!!”
Burress was transported to Rikers Island jail in New York, where he arrived at 1:20 p.m., according to Steve Morello, a deputy commissioner with the New York City Department of Corrections. He will later be transferred to another correctional facility for processing before being sent to one of New York state’s 34 medium-security prisons to serve out his sentence.
Afterward, his defense attorney, Benjamin Brafman, called the case “terribly sad and very tragic.”
“This has been a very emotional experience for him,” Brafman said. “He’s sad about what he’s done to his life, his career, and more importantly to his family. He’s a fundamentally good man who has used bad judgment and is going to pay a very, very severe penalty.”
On July 29, Burress took the rare and risky step of testifying before the grand jury, hoping to convince the panel that the gun was not used in the commission of a crime and that he was the lone victim. But days later, Burress was indicted on two counts of criminal possession of a weapon and one count of reckless endangerment. He faced a minimum sentence of 3½ years if convicted at trial.
On Aug. 20, the day he was to be arraigned, Burress agreed to a plea deal and pleaded guilty to attempted weapons possession in the second degree.
Hours after Burress pleaded guilty, the NFL announced that commissioner Roger Goodell had suspended the receiver and said Burress is ineligible to sign with any team until he completes his prison term. After that, Burress may sign with an NFL team without further review.
I know people who “shoot themselves in them foot” everyday, they have yet to be arrested.