NEW YORK – Taken to court in handcuffs, Plaxico Burress posted $100,000 bail on weapons possession charges Monday as a frenzy grew around the case of the Giants star receiver who accidentally shot himself in a nightclub.
Authorities said teammate Antonio Pierce was being investigated over his role in the shooting, while the Super Bowl-champion Giants weren't sure what action they would take against Burress. The NFL said it was monitoring developments. Mayor Michael Bloomberg also weighed in, saying it would be an outrage "if we didn't prosecute to the fullest extent of the law."
Burress shot himself in the right thigh in the VIP section of the Latin Quarter nightclub in Manhattan about 1 a.m. Saturday, police said. He did not have a permit to carry a handgun in New York.
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A witness reported hearing a popping sound before Burress' legs began to shake, according to a criminal complaint. It said the person saw a bloody pistol fall out of his pant leg and land on the floor before Burress said, "Take me to a hospital."
It's believed Pierce took Burress to the car and then left with him, according to police. Burress was treated at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and released later Saturday.
Burress was charged with two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, which could result in a prison sentence of at least 3 1/2 years in prison. He was not required to enter a plea Monday and is due back in court on March 31. Burress did not say anything in court
"He is standing tall. He is a mature adult," said Benjamin Brafman, his defense lawyer. "I think any professional athlete in this situation would be concerned."
He said Burress is feeling OK. "If they let him play, he will be able to play. ... I think he will be a superstar for the rest of his career."
Originally, police had said that running back Derrick Ward was with Burress and Pierce at the club, relying on information given to them from security guards at the bar. But police said later that it was unclear if Ward was at the club, and the running back denied that he was.