News

Ex-Cowboys Brent guilty in fatal crash

Ex-Cowboys Brent guilty in fatal crash

GUILTY: The jury deliberated about 11 hours before reaching a verdict, and will reconvene on Thursday for sentencing. Brent faces up to 20 years in prison. Photo: Associated Press

By Lisa Maria Garza

DALLAS (Reuters) – A Texas jury found former Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent guilty on Wednesday of intoxication manslaughter for drinking heavily at a club, getting behind the wheel and causing a fiery car crash that killed teammate Jerry Brown Jr. in December 2012.

The jury deliberated about 11 hours before reaching a verdict, and will reconvene on Thursday for sentencing. Brent faces up to 20 years in prison.

The judge revoked Brent’s bond and ordered the county sheriff’s office to take him into custody.

Brent, 25, remained silent and looked at the floor after the verdict was read. Members of his family wept as he was led out of the court.

Lawyers were not allowed to speak to media about the verdict and the judge did not offer any comment on the jury’s decision.

Brent’s lawyers had previously argued that their client had been reckless but was not drunk.

In the week-long trial, jurors saw video from the Dallas area club that showed Brent dancing and swigging from bottles of champagne.

They also saw a dashboard camera video from a police car that showed him failing a series of field sobriety checks.

The jury requested a laptop to review the video from the club before stating the verdict.

Brent was driving his Mercedes at 110 mph when he slammed into a curb on a state highway, flipping the car, which caught on fire, and killed Brown, then 25.

Brent’s blood alcohol level was 0.189 at the time of the incident, according to police documents. The legal limit in Texas is 0.08.

Brown’s mother hugged Brent to show her support on Tuesday, when the jury left the court to begin deliberations.

Brent was put on leave from the Cowboys after the accident. Although he retired from the National Football League in July, his ties to the Cowboys were prominent throughout the trial.

Current Cowboys safety Barry Church and defensive back Danny McCray testified to drinking with Brent at the club before the crash but said they did not know how much alcohol he consumed.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement after the verdict that the team continues to support Brent.

“We understand the very serious nature of this situation and express our concerns for all of the families and individuals that have been affected by the tragedy of Jerry Brown’s death,” Jones said.

(Reporting by Lisa Maria Garza; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Gunna Dickson and Eric Walsh)

Recent Headlines

12 hours ago in Sports

Congressman charges NFL with wrongdoing

pallone1614461738670

A senior House Democrat has found that National Football League officials improperly sought to influence a government study on the link between football and brain disease.

12 hours ago in National

Democrats, seeking unity, give Sanders say in party platform

14-overlay-8

The Democratic Party said on Monday it would give U.S. presidential contender Bernie Sanders a prominent say in writing its platform this year, a gesture that could ease tensions between Sanders' camp and party leaders, whom Sanders has accused of favoring rival Hillary Clinton.

12 hours ago in Sports

Tom Brady continues his fight with NFL

25-overlay-6

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on Monday asked a U.S. appeals court to reconsider its ruling reinstating his "Deflategate" four-game suspension, saying the decision runs contrary to federal labor law.

12 hours ago in National

Hawaii could be first to put gun owners in federal database

hawaiigunrestrictions16134856688305

Hawaii could become the first state in the nation to enter gun owners into an FBI database that will automatically notify police if an island resident is arrested anywhere else in the country.

12 hours ago in Lifestyle, National

Kicking the habit: Adult smoking rate in U.S. is falling fast

cigarettes16137527645580

The smoking rate among U.S. adults has been falling steadily for decades but the latest survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds the 2015 decline is the biggest in more than 20 years.