Plaxico Burress Indicted; Pierce Not Indicted

By Mark Maske
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 3, 2009; 4:00 PM

A grand jury voted Monday to indict former New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress on charges stemming from the incident last November in which Burress accidentally shot himself in the leg at a New York nightclub, the Manhattan district attorney's office announced.

The grand jury voted not to indict Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce for his role in the incident, according to the prosecutors' announcement.

Burress was indicted on two felony counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, and one misdemeanor count of reckless endangerment in the second degree, according to the announcement by the DA's office.

Burress faces 3-1/2 to 15 years in prison if convicted of the weapon possession charges--his sentences for the two counts, if convicted of both, would run concurrently--and up to one year in jail if convicted of the reckless endangerment charge, according to announcement.

No date has been set for Burress's arraignment.

"In this case, we conducted a thorough investigation and then presented the evidence to the grand jury, which evaluated the facts under the applicable law," Robert M. Morgenthau, the Manhattan district attorney, said in a written statement released by his office. "The case required a more protracted investigation than does a typical weapons possession case, given the number of witnesses and the need to investigate events both before and after the shooting. The case was treated like any similar case against any other defendant. Ultimately, the grand jury did what it thought was fair."

Morgenthau previously had said publicly that prosecutors believe Burress should spend time in jail, whether through a conviction or plea deal. No plea agreement has been reached so far.

The written announcement by the district attorney's office said: "At the time the defendant shot himself, he was not licensed to carry or possess that pistol in either New York or New Jersey, where he had a home. His license to carry a concealed weapon in the state of Florida had expired in May of 2008. Even if that license had not expired, the states of New York and New Jersey do not recognize out-of-state concealed weapon carry licenses."

Burress is a free agent after being released by the Giants.

He also faces potential disciplinary action by the NFL under its personal conduct policy.

Burress and Pierce testified separately last week before the grand jury.

Pierce accompanied Burress to the nightclub and allegedly was in possession of the gun after the shooting.

CONTINUED     1        >

© 2009 The Washington Post Company