Outgoing D.A. Morgenthau Holding the Line On Jail Time; Pierce Still On Hook
Manhattan D.A. Robert Morgenthau, who is in his final months in the big office in Foley Square after 34 years, apparently has not softened his stance in the gun-possession case against Burress.
It was not what Burress' attorney, Ben Brafman (pictured) wanted to hear, saying he was "bitterly disappointed" but vowed to fight in court if forced.
Morgenthau, who will turn 90 this week, told the New York Post that "We've always taken the position that he's going to have to go to jail, whether by trial or by plea," and would not comment on how his office would treat LB Antonio Pierce, who attended to Burress after Burress shot himself in the leg with an illegal handgun last November.
Pierce is apparently still very much in the soup in this case. Morgenthau would not elaborate on what role Pierce would play in the case. It is very possible that he may end up testifying against Burress to evade prosecution himself.
Morganthau intimated that his office had never backed off jail time for Burress and never officially cleared Pierce, who possessed the illegal gun himself after the shooting.
His office wants Burress to plea to a lesser gun charge and do at least two years in state prison. Burress' lawyer has suggested no jail time since he was also the victim of the shooting. The results of the grand jury's vote will be made public in late August, which may not bode well for Burress or Pierce.
Morgenthau was the model for the old D.A. Adam Schiff (played by Steven Hill) in the early days of the television drama Law and Order. He has always been tough, but fair. In the final months of his illustrious law career, you can expect "Morgy" to stick to his guns.