NY refuses to free Plaxico Burress on work release
Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK (AP) – Plaxico Burress is not getting out of prison just yet.
The work-release application for the ex-Giants star was denied by the New York Department of Correctional Services because of the nature of his crime. Burress pleaded guilty in August to attempted criminal possession of a weapon for having a loaded handgun in a nightclub that went off and shot him in the leg.
“At no time did you report this incident to local law enforcement. As such, it is determined that you must serve a greater portion of your sentence prior to consideration for potential participation in the temporary release program,” the ruling said.
The program would have allowed him to spend some portion of his two-year sentence at home. The announcement was made Thursday.
Burress applied for the furlough Nov. 25, about two months into his sentence. Though he had no prior record, the decision wasn’t a surprise; less than 5 percent of the more than 31,500 work-release applications in 2008 were granted.
Burress can appeal, and may also reapply for work release in six months. His attorney, Benjamin Brafman, declined to comment.
Burress, then a Giants receiver, was at the Latin Quarter nightclub in November 2008 with a .40-caliber gun tucked into the waistband of his track pants. He later said he was concerned for his safety because a teammate had been held up at gunpoint days before. The weapon slipped down Burress’ leg and fired, injuring his right thigh.
The gun wasn’t licensed in New York or New Jersey, where Burress lived, and his Florida concealed-weapons permit had expired. He also failed to report the incident to authorities.
Prosecutors argued the bullet narrowly missed a security guard.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. supported the decision.
“The defendant took an unholstered, loaded pistol into a crowded nightclub, accidentally firing it with one hand while holding his drink in the other,” he said. “This extreme and reckless disregard for safety is what New York’s gun laws were designed to prevent.”
Burress is being held in protective custody at an upstate prison because of his notoriety. The Giants released him in April, but the 32-year-old said he hopes to resume his NFL career.
Associated Press Writer Jennifer Peltz contributed to this report.