NY refuses to free Plaxico Burress on work release

Jan 7 2010 - 4:40pm

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(SETH WENIG/The Associated Press) In this file photo of March 31, 2009, New York Giants football player Plaxico Burress leaves the criminal courts building in New York during his gun possession trial. The convicted ex-Giants star has applied for work release, but it was denied by the New York Department of Correctional Services. Burress made the application just a few months into his two-year sentence and prosecutors said it would be too soon to give the former Super Bowl star a break.
(SETH WENIG/The Associated Press) In this file photo of March 31, 2009, New York Giants football player Plaxico Burress leaves the criminal courts building in New York during his gun possession trial. The convicted ex-Giants star has applied for work release, but it was denied by the New York Department of Correctional Services. Burress made the application just a few months into his two-year sentence and prosecutors said it would be too soon to give the former Super Bowl star a break.

NEW YORK -- 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.

Then-Manhattan Chief Assistant District Attorney Mark Dwyer said last month that a quick furlough would send a bad message. The district attorney's office did not immediately comment Thursday on the application denial.

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.

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Associated Press Writer Jennifer Peltz contributed to this report.

 

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