Burress to plead not guilty to gun charge, lawyer says

The Baltimore Sun

Plaxico Burress (right) plans to turn himself in to police this morning in New York City and plead not guilty to criminal possession of a weapon, his lawyer said.

Benjamin Brafman wrote in an e-mail to the Associated Press yesterday that he was advised the New York Giants' star wide receiver will be charged after accidentally shooting himself in the right thigh.

"I do not expect that Mr. Burress will make a statement," Brafman wrote.

He met with Burress for about an hour yesterday at the player's home in New Jersey.

"I would ask that his fans, the Giants and the media withhold judgment in this matter until all of the facts have been disclosed," Brafman wrote.

Brafman is a well-known criminal lawyer who has defended mobsters and other high-profile figures, including hip-hop impresario Sean "Diddy" Combs on a bribery and gun possession charge in 2001.

Burress shot himself at a Manhattan nightclub Friday night and was released from a hospital early Saturday, the Giants said.

"As far as we know, he's going to be OK," Giants general manager Jerry Reese said before the Super Bowl champions' 23-7 road victory over the Washington Redskins yesterday.

Before the shooting, Burress had been ruled out of the game because of an unrelated leg injury.

New York police and NFL security are investigating the incident. The NFL wouldn't comment on the expected charge, Burress' plan to plead not guilty or the league's investigation. "We are cooperating with the police and continuing to monitor the situation," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.

BROWNS: : Coach Romeo Crennel stated emphatically this week that Brady Quinn will be Cleveland's starting quarterback in 2009. Crennel might not be Quinn's coach next season, however. Crennel will need a miracle finish to save his own job, sources told ESPN. Quinn will miss the rest of this season with a broken finger on his throwing hand, and backup Derek Anderson, a former Raven, suffered a knee sprain in yesterday's loss to the Colts and is likely to miss the Browns' final four games.

BILLS: : Quarterback Trent Edwards was sidelined by a groin injury for the start of the second half of yesterday's loss to the 49ers. The Bills didn't go into detail about his injury, except to say that he was out indefinitely. "As of right now, I have no idea," said Edwards, who called the injury either a pull or a strain. "We're going to have to re-evaluate it again tomorrow." Backup J.P. Losman took over, making his third appearance of the season.

VIKINGS:: Right tackle Artis Hicks was scratched from a pivotal NFC North game against Chicago last night with a right elbow injury. Hicks was inserted into the starting lineup for the struggling Ryan Cook last week at Jacksonville but injured his elbow in that game. Cook returned to his starting spot on the right side next to guard Anthony Herrera with first place in the division on the line.

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