DALLAS, TX. – Former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent was found guilty today of intoxication manslaughter after a car crash in December 2012 that resulted in the death of his teammate and friend, Jerry Brown Jr.
The sentencing phase will begin Thursday to determine Brent’s punishment. He could face up to 20 years in prison, but he also could get probation.
“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,” owner/general manager Jerry Jones said in a statement.
Brent was found guilty by the jury early this afternoon. The jurors deliberated Tuesday and were sequestered that night before coming back with the decision the following afternoon.
Brown’s mother, Stacey Jackson, has repeatedly said she’s forgiven Brent and stood by him after the incident. Family members and those closest to Brent could testify during the sentencing period.
Brent has since retired from the NFL since the incident. He last played with the Cowboys in 2012, totaling 1.5 sacks in 12 games. He would have challenged for a starting spot during the 2013 season. Executive vice president Stephen Jones wouldn’t address the possibility of Brent coming back to the team before Brent was found guilty Wednesday.
After Cowboys players had already testified, linebacker Sean Lee arrived at the courthouse Tuesday to offer support to Brent. That move didn’t surprise Stephen Jones, who described Lee as a class act and admired Lee’s ability to lead and be there for his teammates.
Prior to the announcement of the verdict, Jerry Jones and head coach Jason Garrett offered their support for Brent at the Senior Bowl on Monday and Tuesday.
“Our support for Josh has been unwavering since the start of this thing,” Garrett said Tuesday. “Obviously, a very tragic situation for Jerry Brown and his family and for Josh Brent.”
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