Former Viking's Trial Could End Soon

Former Vikings cornerback Brian Williams has had a long road to get his drinking-and-driving case to trial. It might finally end this week.

Former Vikings cornerback Brian Williams is midway through a trial that could have some serious implications for his current standing with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Williams, 29, was arrested in September 2006 near the Club Paris nightclub in the Jacksonville Landing district of the city. He allegedly crossed the center lane and police officer Ernest Bridges said that he had to swerve to avoid colliding head-on with Williams. At the time of his arrest, Williams refused to take a blood-alcohol test.

The case is almost two years old, thanks in part to a decision made by Williams earlier in the process. Williams initially pleaded no contest and apologized to Jacksonville residents for the arrest and the poor light in which it portrayed him and the Jaguars. However, when explained the ramifications of a no contest plea, Williams was allowed by Duval County Judge Brent Shore to withdraw his plea with the explanation that his didn't fully understand the gravity of his initial plea.

It would appear Judge Shore did Williams another favor, ruling inadmissible statements prepared to be made by Officer Bridges concerning a rant allegedly made by Williams as he was being taken to jail. According to Bridges' police report, Williams threatened sex acts on the officer's family, made belittling racial and sexual slurs to Bridges and offered to let the officer sleep with his girlfriend if he let him go. Late Tuesday, Judge Shore sided with the defense motion that, while they still contend the comments didn't happen, that their evidentiary value was outweighed by the prejudice the admission of the alleged statements would have on a jury.

The trial got underway Wednesday and closing arguments are expected later today. If convicted, Williams faces up to a year in prison and a potential suspension from the league. Much of the latter likely will hinge on whether he is found guilty or not guilty of the charges.


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