A few weeks ago, it appeared as though Plaxico Burress' trial would be delayed until 2010 and that he might be able to play in the NFL this season. But after recent developments, he's now scheduled to appear and testify before a grand jury on Wednesday, according to a report from ESPN.com.
The decision to put Burress on the stand is a calculated move by Burress' attorney, Benjamin Brafman, in response to Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau's comments about the case on Monday.
"My concern is that the comments by the district attorney's office may have irreparably prejudiced those proceedings," Brafman was quoted by ESPN. "I am now considering the legal options available to respond."
Morgenthau told the New York Post that while the former Giants wide receiver was willing to spend a year behind bars, the prosecution was pushing for two in a plea deal.
"We've always taken the position that he's going to have to go to jail, whether by trial or by plea," Morgenthau said.
Burress is facing a minimum of 3 1/2 years in prison — and maximum of
15 — if convicted for unlawful possession of a firearm after he shot himself in a New York night club with
an unlicensed gun on Nov. 29, 2008. But Brafman believes there are numerous reasons for his client to be exonerated.
"There are many mitigating circumstances in this case," Brafman told ESPN.com. "First, the gun was not used in the commission of a crime. The only victim here was Plaxico Burress. And the gun was registered in the state of Florida, which has reciprocating registration agreements in 32 states. My client was under the impression that the same was the case in the city of New York."
Burress is currently a free agent after being released by the Giants in April. The 6-foot-5 receiver has garnered some interest from teams around the NFL, but he could still face punishment from commissioner Roger Goodell regardless of how his legal proceedings play out.