Plaxico Burress Faces 2 Felony Weapon Counts

Former Steeler and current New York Giants star receiver Plaxico Burress was charged with two felony counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree Monday and released on a $100,000 bond.

Burress, who accidentally shot himself Friday night in the right thigh at a Manhattan nightclub, did not enter a plea on the class C felony charges, though his attorney said Burress planned to plead not guilty.

Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Felicia Mennin ordered Burress to return March 31.

Defense lawyer Benjamin Brafman argued for no bail, saying: "He has 35 million reasons to come back to court" -- referring to Burress' $35 million contract with the Giants.

Prosecutors also released a criminal complaint that provides a witness account from the club where Burress shot himself.

A grand jury will hear evidence and make a decision on whether Burress will be indicted. Illegal possession of a firearm carries a sentence of 3½ to 15 years in jail.

Police escorted Burress out of a midtown Manhattan police station in handcuffs earlier Monday, placing him in a car in which he was taken downtown for booking and his court appearance.

Burress has had a some tough times of late:

• Oct. 5: Suspended for game against the Seahawks and fined $117.5K after missing a team meeting for "family issues," which he said included having to pick his son up from school.

• Oct. 24: Fined total of $45K for three violations and penalties in a game vs. the 49ers, including verbally abusing an official during the game, "inappropriate" comments about officiating after the game and $5K for throwing a football into the stands.

• Oct. 26: Held out of the first quarter of a 21-14 victory in Pittsburgh after missing treatments for a neck injury.

• Friday: Suffered accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound at a Manhattan nightclub.

• Monday: Charged in Manhattan court on two counts of felony possession of a weapon in the second degree.

The bad luck streak might be catching! Police said the case could expand beyond Burress, with authorities investigating Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce and whether the hospital Burress checked into failed to report the shooting. The NFL is closely monitoring the developments as well.

Originally, police had said Giants running back Derrick Ward was with Burress, Pierce and two other people at the club, relying on information given to them from security guards at the bar.

But Ward's agent, Peter Schaffer, said Ward is no longer a person of interest to the NYPD, the Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J. reported.

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