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Burress' lawyer responds to DA Morgenthau

The attorney representing Plaxico Burress Monday lashed out at New York District Attorney Robert Morgenthau for suggesting that his office is seeking at least a two-year sentence stemming from an illegal weapons possession case involving the former Giants receiver.

Burress' attorney, Benjamin Brafman, said Morgenthau should not have made any public statements, especially now that a grand jury is considering the case.

Morgenthau said in yesterday's New York Post that prosecutors had been negotiating a plea deal in which Burress would receive two years' imprisonment, but that Burress would agree to serve only a year.

Burress was charged last November with carrying an unlicensed weapon at a New York nightclub. He suffered a leg wound after the gun accidentally went off.

"We've always taken the position that he's going to have to go to jail, whether by trial or by plea," Morgenthau said.

Brafman said Monday that it was improper for Morgenthau to say anything publicly.

"I think it was highly inappropriate for the district attorney to publicly comment on the status of plea negotiations," Brafman said in a telephone interview, "or to recommend a specific prison sentence in a case where my client has not yet been indicted and where the grand jury is at this very moment considering whether or not to indict.

"The grand jury is supposed to be an independent body, not the tool of the district attorney. While I have great respect and admiration for Bob Morgenthau, I think in this case it was inappropriate to make the statements attributed to him."

Asked if he has a gut feeling about how the case ultimately will turn out, Brafman said: "I don't. I don't want to speculate."

Burress, who was released by the Giants in April, has not signed with another team. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has yet to rule on any further sanctions on Burress, who faces a possible league-mandated suspension. He was suspended the final four regular-season games last year by the Giants and also missed the team's playoff game.


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