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NYPD: Jayson Williams faces DWI charges after accident

New York City police say former NBA player Jayson Williams has been charged with drunken driving after his SUV struck a tree in Manhattan.

Williams suffered a minor bone fracture in his neck and cuts to his face. Police say it appeared Williams was drinking before the accident at 3:15 a.m. Tuesday on a northbound exit of FDR Drive. He was charged at his hospital bed.

Williams was in the passenger seat when officers arrived. But witnesses told police they saw him on the driver’s side. Officers say no one else was in the car.

The name of his attorney was not immediately on record.

Williams retired from the New Jersey Nets in 2000 after a decade in the NBA, unable to overcome a broken leg suffered a year earlier when he collided on court with a teammate. He was suspended from his job as an NBA analyst for NBC after the shooting.

Williams is scheduled to be retried on the reckless manslaughter count that produced a deadlocked jury in 2004.

Witnesses testified that Williams was showing off a shotgun in his bedroom in February 2002 when he snapped the weapon shut and it fired one shot that struck a hired driver, Costas Christofi, in the chest. They also testified that Williams initially placed the gun in the dead man's hands and instructed those present to lie about what happened.

The defense maintained the shooting was an accident and that Williams panicked afterward.

The jury deadlocked on the reckless manslaughter count, acquitted Williams of aggravated manslaughter and convicted him of covering up the shooting. He was never sentenced for the cover-up counts, pending the outcome of the retrial, and has remained free on bail.

Williams suffered a series of further setbacks last year. His wife filed for divorce, and police used a stun gun on him in a New York hotel after a female friend said he was acting suicidal. He was charged with assault in May after allegedly punching a man in the face outside a North Carolina bar, but charges were dropped. In November, Williams' father, E.J., with whom he owned a construction business, died in South Carolina.

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