Williams' co-defendant pleads guilty
FLEMINGTON, N.J. -- A second man pleaded guilty Thursday to charges he helped cover up Jayson Williams' role in the shooting death of a limousine driver and will testify against the former NBA star.
John W. Gordnick told the judge he took the clothes Williams was wearing when the driver was shot, hid them in a car and didn't turn them over to authorities for several weeks.
''I guess I just saw Jayson in a difficult situation. I wasn't thinking straight and I, I reacted,'' Gordnick said.
He pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence, and prosecutors will recommend probation. He could have faced nearly 12 years in prison if convicted.
Williams, the former All-Star forward for the New Jersey Nets, has pleaded innocent to first-degree manslaughter and charges he tampered with witnesses and evidence in the driver's Feb. 14 shooting at his mansion.
Prosecutors accuse Williams of recklessly handling the 12-gauge shotgun that fired and hit Costas Christofi in the chest, then trying to make it look as if the driver fired the gun.
Massachusetts tops New York at Series
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- An intentional walk had taken the bat out of the hands of Worcester's power hitter. Along came Ryan Griffin.
His three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning gave Worcester, Mass., a 5-2 victory over Harlem, N.Y., on Thursday night in a U.S. semifinal at the Little League World Series.
''I couldn't believe it was going -- I couldn't believe the game ended like that,'' Griffin said. ''I was just trying to hit it into a gap in left or right field.''
Gordie Lockbaum walked to lead off the sixth inning and Frank Flynn, who hit Worcester's only home run of the tournament, was intentionally walked. After one out, Griffin battled through an eight-pitch at-bat and sent the ball sailing over the right field wall.
Harlem right fielder Fernando Frias threw his hat near the fence in obvious disappointment, and then came Worcester's celebration at home plate.
''Ryan, the last couple games, has been putting it into the dirt,'' Worcester manager Fran Granger said. ''We worked on that and worked on it. Tonight, it paid off.''
Worcester will play Louisville, Ky., in Saturday's U.S. championship game.
The international championship will feature Willemstad, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles against Sendai, Japan. Curacao beat Valencia, Venezuela, 3-0 Thursday.
Williams, Davenport advance to semifinals
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Venus Williams and Lindsay Davenport took different routes Thursday to reach the semifinals of the Pilot Pen.
The top-seeded Williams, the three-time defending champion, breezed by little-known qualifier Laura Granville, 6-2, 6-1 in under an hour. The second-seeded Davenport slugged it out for 90 minutes, beating Amelie Mauresmo 7-6 (7), 6-3.
Defending champ reaches quarterfinals
COMMACK, N.Y. -- Defending champion Tommy Haas played through pain again and reached the quarterfinals of the TD Waterhouse Cup on Thursday night.
The 24-year-old, plagued by tendinitis in his right shoulder since the Australian Open in January, was hampered by new pain in both his right arm and elbow as he rallied for a 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 victory over Augustin Calleri.
Haas would have to wait until Friday to find out his next opponent as Thursday night's final match was suspended by rain.
Fabio Saretta had a 3-1 lead over Jarkko Nieminen when the match was stopped. It will be finished Friday morning and the winner will face Haas on Friday night.
In other matches Thursday, Alex Corretja rallied for a 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Jonas Bjorkman; Mardy Fish defeated Nicolas Massau 6-3, 6-4; Younes El Aynaoui beat Aranud Clement 6-0, 6-2; and Juan Ignacio Chela eliminated Jan-Michael Gambill 7-5 7-6 (5).
''When I serve I feel the pain in my arm and elbow,'' Haas said. ''And there were moments once again when I wondered if I should play on or not.
''It's a different pain than the tendinitis. Sometimes I make a wrong move in my serve and I really feel it. The problem started to appear last week in Indianapolis.''
Haas was playing Calleri, who has seven Challenger titles but none on the ATP Tour, for the first time.
''After I lost the opening set, I made up my mind to jump him early in the next two,'' Haas said. ''I was able to break him in the first game in each set and that set the tone for the rest of the match.
''It's always tough to lose the opening set, but when I got going I served solidly and reached between 100 and 105 miles with good placement.''
Corretja's win was the latest in what he calls a ''weird year.''
''At the beginning of the year, I figured I was dead for the sport,'' the 28-year-old said after the 2-hour, 41-minute match. ''I even felt that way at the end of 2001, even though my ranking (No. 15) was pretty high. I knew something had to be done to get back to where I used to be, or else I'd have to retire.''
What Corretja did was confer with his coaches and a decision was reached to cut down on the number of tournaments.
''It was decided to skip Wimbledon and concentrate on the French Open,'' the winner of the 1989 ATP World Championship said. ''I trained very hard every day for the French Open and got to the semifinals. I've also won two titles since then, so now I'm back in business.''
Corretja didn't mind going three sets against Bjorkman, a doubles champion with Todd Woodbridge at last year's Australian Open.
''I need as much tennis as I can get before next week's U.S. Open,'' he said. ''I had six matches in my last tournament. Now, I'm here and happy to be playing so well.''
Corretja recalled his 1996 five-set loss to Pete Sampraas in the fourth round of the U.S. Open, calling it the turning point of his career.
''Losing was disappointing,'' he said,'' but, I always think about it when I get down in a match. It gives me confidence to know that I can make a comeback.''
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