NEWARK, N.J. – Former NBA star Jayson Williams (search), acquitted earlier this year of aggravated manslaughter, now faces an animal cruelty complaint for allegedly killing his dog with a shotgun three years ago.
The state Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (search) filed a complaint last week over an incident that allegedly took place at Williams' home in 2001. Because the statute of limitations on criminal charges has expired, the SPCA filed civil charges, which carry a maximum fine of $250.
Judy Smith, a spokeswoman for Williams, said Friday: "This is a blatant attempt to pile on and create publicity about an issue that a judge has already ruled has no place in the trial."
The SPCA learned of the alleged incident earlier this year, when prosecutors trying Williams in the 2002 shooting death of limousine driver Costas "Gus" Christofi tried to introduce evidence about the dog. The judge disallowed it.
Former New Jersey Nets player Dwayne Schintzius (search) told investigators that he and Williams bet $100 that Schintzius could not drag Williams' Rottweiler out of his house. Schintzius said he won the bet and told Williams to pay up. An angry Williams went inside, returned with a shotgun and killed the dog, Schintzius said.
The former teammate told investigators that Williams pointed the gun at him and told him to clean up the dog's remains "or you're next."
Williams, 36, still faces a retrial on charges of reckless manslaughter in the limo driver's death because a jury deadlocked on that charge in April.