By Ryan Ulrich,
Sports Business Writer
On Wednesday, former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent was convicted of intoxication manslaughter in the death of his former teammate, Jerry Brown. Brown was killed in December 2012 as a passenger in Josh Brent’s vehicle.
During the time of the crash, Brent’s blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit as he had reportedly consumed around 17 drinks that evening. Brown and Brent attended college together at the University of Illinois, as well as being teammates in the NFL, and were close friends off the field. Brent now faces up to 20 years in prison if the jury decides not to grant him probation for Brown’s death. Stacey Jackson, Jerry Brown’s mother, testified Thursday on behalf of Josh Brent.
However, Jackson also stated that Brown looked forward to being a father, as his daughter Maya, was born shortly after his death. Former Cowboys teammates Barry Church and Danny McCray also took the stand recounting the night from their perspective, as they were with Brent and Brown earlier that evening.
Josh Brent’s attorneys have disputed that he consumed the amount of alcohol that is being reported and have cited that the driving should be the focus of the case, not the drinks Brent had beforehand. Brent’s attorney George Milner said that Brent was “guilty of being stupid behind the wheel of a car,” not the drinking which preceded it. According to ESPN, jurors were shown video evidence of Brent being unable to pass sobriety tests, as well as being unable to articulate without stumbling over his words while talking to officers. Evidence also showed that Brent was holding bottles of champagne as well as possessing credit card receipts indicating three bottles were purchased by Brent. The debate over Josh Brent comes on the heels of another intoxicated manslaughter decision in Texas which left four people dead, yet saw the driver receive only probation. People have suggested that Brent is being treated harsher than most because he is a former Dallas Cowboys player. Brent could face a variety of punishment that ranges from no jail time to 20 years. If sent to jail, Brent will be eligible for parole after half his sentence is served.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Jan. 28 print edition.
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