Former New York Giants Receiver PLAXICO BURRESS, Has Been Indicted

Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau announced today the indictment of former New York Giants receiver PLAXICO BURRESS, 31, on charges of possession of a loaded pistol and reckless endangerment in connection with an incident in which he shot himself in the leg at a Manhattan nightclub.

The defendant was indicted on two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a class C violent felony, and one count of Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor.

The Grand Jury voted no true bill against Antonio Pierce.

The investigation leading to today’s indictment revealed that in the early morning hours of November 29, 2008, the defendant shot himself in the leg with a .40 caliber Glock semi-automatic pistol inside the nightclub LQ New York, located at 511 Lexington Avenue. 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.

The investigation further revealed that when BURRESS, Antonio Pierce, and several companions entered the nightclub at approximately 1:30 a.m., LQ New York security discovered the pistol on BURRESS’ person. BURRESS was carrying the pistol in the waistband of his jeans, with bullets in the magazine, a round in the chamber and no holster. BURRESS was allowed to enter, and once inside, he proceeded to an upper V.I.P. area, where 20-30 employees and customers were gathered. A short while later, BURRESS accidentally shot himself in the leg. His pistol then fell out of the leg of his jeans, onto the floor. The bullet traveled through BURRESS’ leg, exited, and narrowly missed a security agent.

BURRESS, Antonio Pierce, and a third person proceeded to Pierce’s vehicle, which was parked approximately one block away. A security agent from LQ New York, who had retrieved the pistol at the defendant’s request, accompanied them to the car and placed the pistol and loaded magazine inside the glove box. BURRESS was dropped off at the emergency room of New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where he was treated, and Antonio Pierce transported the pistol and magazine back to his home in New Jersey. The following day, he arranged for it to be returned to BURRESS. The police subsequently recovered the gun and an empty magazine from BURRESS’ home.

The New York County Grand Jury heard from twenty-two witnesses, including PLAXICO BURRESS and Antonio Pierce, and considered 16 exhibits. BURRESS is charged with two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, one for possession of a loaded firearm not in his home or place of business, and one for possession of a loaded firearm with intent to use it unlawfully against another. Since the 2006 revision of New York State’s gun laws, each of the weapons possession counts carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 1/2 years in state prison, and a maximum sentence of 15 years in state prison. On the facts of this case, the law would require that the sentences on those two charges be imposed concurrently. The charge of Reckless Endangerment carries a maximum sentence of 1 year in jail.

Mr. Morgenthau said, “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. 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.”

The defendant will be arraigned in State Supreme Court, Part 1. No date is scheduled for the arraignment.

Assistant District Attorney John Wolfstaetter is handing the prosecution of this case. The case was investigated by Detectives Samuel Haigler and Edward Hennessy of the 17th Precinct Detective Squad under the supervision of Commanding Officer Lieutenant Elisa Anders. Detectives James Piccione and Jeffrey Salta of the Manhattan South Homicide Squad also assisted in this investigation under the supervision of Commanding Officer Lieutenant Stephen Camardese. Detective Lieutenant Scott Titus and Detective Sergeant Dennis Blakeley of the Borough of Totowa Police Department also assisted in this investigation under the supervision of Chief of Police Robert Coyle. Assistant District Attorneys Christopher Foster and Larry Glasser also assisted in this investigation.

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