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More Charges Against Jayson Williams

FLEMINGTON, N.J. (AP) _ In the moments after his limo driver was fatally shot, Jayson Williams wiped his fingerprints off the shotgun and positioned the weapon to make it look like a suicide, prosecutors allege.

The former NBA star also allegedly removed his clothing and had his guests throw it away.

The details emerged Monday as prosecutors filed obstruction and tampering charges against Williams in the Feb. 14 shooting death of Costas Christofi.

Williams, 34, is already charged with manslaughter and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. The new charges carry a combined penalty of more than 14 years in prison.

Williams' friends, John W. Gordnick, 44, of Rochelle Park, and Kent Culuko, 29, of Mahwah, also surrendered at the courthouse Monday in connection with the cover-up allegations. Both were free on $50,000 bail.

Prosecutors said the three manipulated the scene of a fatal shooting to imply suicide, then instructed other witnesses to back up their story.

``Whether or not there's a cover-up might be a secondary issue,'' said acting Hunterdon County Prosecutor Steven C. Lember. ``On the other hand, these are serious allegations. They impeded the investigation.''

Williams' attorney continued to express confidence that his client would be cleared.

``When we have our day in court, we will address all relevant facts and allegations, and we are confident Mr. Williams will be cleared of all charges,'' said his attorney, Joseph Hayden.

According to court documents, after Christofi was shot, Williams removed his own clothes and told Culuko and Gordnick to dispose of them. Gordnick allegedly smuggled them off the estate, and Williams provided detectives with another set of clothing.

He also allegedly tried to position the shotgun at an angle to make it seem as if the driver shot himself.

Williams wiped his fingerprints off the shotgun, then ``attempted to imprint the victim's fingerprints upon the very same shotgun in an effort to convince investigators that the shooting had been self-inflicted,'' prosecutors said.

About a dozen people were at Williams' estate 30 miles from Trenton when the shooting occurred, including two children and four members of the Harlem Globetrotters, Lember said. He did not release their names.

Lember said Gordnick's lawyer called him less than two weeks ago, offering to turn over the clothes Williams was wearing the night of the shooting.

New charges against Williams include hindering apprehension, witness tampering, evidence tampering, fabricating physical evidence and conspiracy to obstruct the administration of law.

Williams surrendered at the county courthouse Monday and added $20,000 bail to the $250,000 already posted on the manslaughter charge.

Culuko and Gordnick were each charged with two counts of hindering another's apprehension, evidence tampering and conspiracy to obstruct the administration of law. Culuko also was charged with witness tampering.

Messages left at both men's homes were not immediately returned Monday night. Culuko's lawyer, Kevin C. Corriston, did not return a message left at his office, and Gordnick's lawyer, John P. McDonald, declined comment.

Prosecutors said Williams was recklessly handling a 12-gauge shotgun when it went off, hitting the 55-year-old limousine driver in the chest.

Williams, a former NBA All-Star, retired from the Nets in 2000 due to a leg injury. He was once one of the league's top rebounders.
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