Prosecution Rests in Williams Manslaughter Trial

The prosecution rested Wednesday in the manslaughter trial of former NBA (search) star Jayson Williams (search).

The judge excused the jury until Monday and set arguments for Thursday on a defense motion to dismiss charges.

Prosecutors presented 36 witnesses over 15 days of testimony. The trial is in its sixth week.

Williams, 36, is charged with firing a shotgun blast that killed Costas "Gus" Christofi (search), a limousine driver, at Williams' Hunterdon County mansion in February 2002.

Williams faces eight charges, including aggravated manslaughter and witness tampering, that could carry up to 55 years in prison. The least of the charges carries a penalty of up to 18 months in prison, but would likely result in probation.

The prosecution claims that Williams was reckless when he handled the shotgun after drinking with friends. Witness said he held it in one hand and snapped it shut, after which it fired. Christofi, 55, died within minutes of being hit with a single blast of 12 pellets.

The defense claims that the shooting was accidental and that the gun was prone to malfunction.

Williams had gone with friends to see a Harlem Globetrotters game in Bethlehem, Pa., and Christofi had driven four Globetrotters from the game to a restaurant near the Williams estate for dinner with Williams and most of the group.

They then went to the mansion for an early morning tour, and Christofi was shot in Williams bedroom, with three of the Globetrotters also in the room.