Burress jailed for two years on gun charge

NEW YORK Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:54am EDT

1 of 3. Former New York Giants Plaxico Burress carries his son Elijah as he walks into Manhattan Criminal Court for his sentencing in New York September 22, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Patrick Andrade

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former New York Giants wide receiver and Super Bowl hero Plaxico Burress was taken to jail on Tuesday to begin serving a two-year sentence for gun possession, after accidentally shooting himself at a nightclub last year.

Burress, 32, had pleaded guilty to a criminal weapons possession charge in August.

Burress' football fame was on the rise after he caught the winning touchdown in the Giants' Super Bowl victory in February 2008, during the final minute of play.

But the Giants and the National Football League suspended him after he pleaded guilty to a gun possession charge.

Burress accidentally shot himself in the thigh with his own handgun last November at a New York City nightclub. He didn't possess a license to carry the gun in New York.

Burress' lawyer said in August that Burress would seek to resume his football career after completing the jail term, possibly as early as 2011.

Burress agreed last month to a two-year term for a single gun charge, avoiding a prison term of between 3-and-1/2 and 15 years had he been convicted on two counts of criminal possession and one misdemeanor count of reckless endangerment, for which he was indicted in August.

Burress stands to lose millions of dollars in salary, since the NFL declared him ineligible to sign with any team until after his release.

Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick reentered the NFL this year as quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, after serving an 18-month jail term for involvement in an illegal dogfighting ring.

(Reporting by Joshua Schneyer, editing by Vicki Allen)

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