Tag Archives: Josh Brent intoxication manslaughter trial

GETTING BACK ON THE SADDLE: What’s next for former Dallas Cowboys DT Josh Brent (extensive coverage)

LENIENCY GRANTED BY JURY - Former Dallas Cowboys DT Josh Brent sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years probation, now what - The Boys Are Back 2014

IRVING, Texas – Former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent was sentenced today to 180 days in jail and 10 years of probation after the jury found him guilty two days prior of driving drunk in a car crash that resulted in the death of his teammate and friend, Jerry Brown Jr.

Brent was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine after being convicted of intoxication manslaughter Wednesday for the December 2012 wreck.

The jurors were sequestered Tuesday before Brent was convicted a day later. The sentencing phase began Thursday to determine the punishment for Brent, who faced up to 20 years in prison. Police said Brent’s blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit at the time of the incident. Brent was driving at least 110 miles an hour on an Irving service road when he flipped his white Mercedes. Neither man wore a seatbelt and the momentum if the crash threw Brown on top of Brent and cushioned Brent from serious injury.

GETTING BACK ON THE SADDLE - What’s next for former Dallas Cowboys DT Josh Brent - attorneys

Photo: The jury in the Josh Brent intoxication manslaughter trial came in with sentencing after deliberations this morning, January 24, 2014. The former Dallas Cowboys player received 180 days and 10 years probation. Defense attorneys George Milner III, center, Kevin Brooks, left, and David Wells, right, spoke with the media following the jury’s decision. (Mona Reeder/DMN)

Prosecutors Heath Harris, Jason Hermus, Becky Dodds and Gary McDonald are asking jurors for prison time. Brent faces up to 20 years in prison but is also eligible for probation.

GETTING BACK ON THE SADDLE - What’s next - Assistant District Attorney, Heath Harris, spoke to the media following the sentencing of former Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent.

Photo: Assistant District Attorney, Heath Harris, spoke to the media following the sentencing of former Dallas Cowboys player, Josh Brent. (Mona Reeder/DMN)

Defense attorneys George Milner III, Kevin Brooks and Deandra Grant made a plea for probation.

GETTING BACK ON THE SADDLE - What’s next - Josh Brent stands with lawyer Kevin Brooks while his punishment for his intoxication manslaughter conviction is read in court

Photo: Josh Brent stands with one of his lawyers Kevin Brooks while the punishment for his intoxication manslaughter conviction is read in court. Dallas, Friday, Jan. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Pool/LM Otero, Pool)

The the jury deliberated less than an hour before being sequestered for the night at a hotel.

The trial has attracted national attention and has lasted longer that most trials in Dallas County except for those where prosecutors are seeking death in a capital murder case. Jury selection began Thursday, Jan. 9. Testimony began the following Monday.

After reading the sentence, state District Judge Robert Burns scolded Brent for his actions. “You are not the first Dallas Cowboy to kill someone with a vehicle,” the judge said, “but I hope you’re the last.”

Dallas Cowboys players Barry Church and Danny McCray were among the people to testify during the trial. Brown’s mother, Stacey Jackson, also testified during the sentencing phase and has repeatedly stated she’s forgiven Brent for what took place.

GETTING BACK ON THE SADDLE - What’s next for former Dallas Cowboys DT Josh Brent - LaTasha Brent, the mother of Josh Brent

Photo: LaTasha Brent, the mother of Josh Brent, is helped from the courtroom following the punishment decision. (Mona Reeder/DMN)

GETTING BACK ON THE SADDLE - What’s next - Josh Brent is lead away from court into custody after his sentencing

Photo: Former Dallas Cowboys NFL football player Josh Brent, center, is lead away from the Dallas courtroom into custody after his sentencing. (AP Photo/Pool/LM Otero, Pool)

Brent, who last played with the Cowboys in 2012 and totaled 1.5 sacks in 12 games, has retired since the incident. The Cowboys still retain his rights. Executive vice president Stephen Jones wouldn’t address the possibility of Brent returning to the team as he spoke from a Senior Bowl practice in Mobile, Ala., prior to Wednesday’s conviction.

Linebacker Sean Lee attended the trial Tuesday and was in the courtroom to provide support for Brent. Dallas Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones and head coach Jason Garrett have also offered their support for Brent since the accident occurred.

“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 after the conviction.


THE PATH BACK TO VALLEY RANCH: Josh Brent’s to return to the NFL, and the Dallas Cowboys rights

THE PATH BACK TO VALLEY RANCH - Josh Brent’s to return to the NFL, and the Dallas Cowboys rights - game

Former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent will have the chance to restart his NFL career one year after he retired if he chooses to pursue professional football again.

And it’s possible Brent could again play with a star on his helmet less than two years after he was responsible for the death of a teammate.

Brent retired from the NFL on July 18 with an NFL suspension looming and less than 24 hours before the Dallas Cowboys were to report to training camp.

Brent could face some hiccups in his path back to the NFL. He’d have to apply for reinstatement, and any request has to be reviewed and approved by the league. If he were reinstated, Brent could still be suspended by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for his conviction under the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy.

Such a decision would hinge on how the league ultimately views Brent’s one year away from football. If Brent returns, he would have missed a year by his own choice, and the league could decide not to pursue a suspension. Or, because Brent is a repeat offender with a previous DWI arrest in Illinois, his suspension could be longer than that of a first-time offender.

GETTING BACK ON THE SADDLE - What’s next for former Dallas Cowboys DT Josh Brent - will he return to the nfl

The Dallas Cowboys retain Brent’s contract rights, however, and he should be out of jail before the team reports for training camp in late July in Oxnard, Calif. Brent’s time served began Friday, and 180 days from today would put his release date at July 23.

Whether the Cowboys would welcome Brent back isn’t clear. But they’ve fully supported him since the tragic crash, even helping him get a job at a warehouse after he retired from the league. And, on Wednesday, before Brent was convicted of the second-degree felony, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones didn’t exactly close the door on Brent.

Asked if he’d ever consider Brent playing again for the Cowboys, Jones said, “I wouldn’t address that right now.”

The Dallas Cowboys declined to comment today after Brent was sentenced.

Peter Schaffer, Brent’s agent, was asked today if his client has completely closed the door on a future in the NFL.

“Haven’t thought about that,” Schaffer said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Brown family.”

Defense attorneys George Milner III and Kevin Brooks acknowledged that Brent could play pro football again. But Milner said Brent has never mentioned playing again and doesn’t talk about football unless he’s asked about it. They did not know if Brent still worked out.

“That road is not foreclosed,” Brooks said.

First Assistant District Attorney Heath Harris, the lead prosecutor in the case, said he would not begrudge Brent for returning to football. But he said Brent needs to get treatment and serve as an example to other players about the consequences of drunken driving.

“As long as he’s not out drinking and driving, I don’t have a problem with anybody doing his occupation,” Harris said. “Everybody has a right to earn a living.”

Other NFL players have continued their pro careers after being responsible for someone’s death.

Cleveland Browns receiver Donte’ Stallworth struck and killed a pedestrian in March 2009 while driving drunk. Five months later, Goodell suspended Stallworth the entire 2009 season without pay. Stallworth, who received 30 days in jail and eight years’ probation, was reinstated by the NFL the next season and went on to play in 20 games from 2010 to 2012 for three different teams.

After leaving a birthday party in 1998, then-St. Louis Rams defensive end Leonard Little crashed into and killed a woman in St. Louis while driving drunk. Little received four years’ probation before going on to a 12-year career with the Rams.

Brent will spend his 26th birthday Thursday in jail. Though still young, what kind of shape he’s in when he’s released will play a part in teams’ possible interest in him. And he isn’t exactly an ideal fit for the Cowboys since they’ve switched defensive schemes.

Also, he had only 31 career tackles in three seasons with the Cowboys before his arrest.


ATTORNEY’S LIVE INTERVIEW: Testimony from Jerry Brown Jr.’s mother brings leniency in sentencing for Josh Brent

GETTING BACK ON THE SADDLE - What’s next - Josh Brent stands with lawyer Kevin Brooks while his punishment for his intoxication manslaughter conviction is read in court

Photo: A packed courtroom listens to Judge Robert Burns III, right, admonish former Dallas Cowboys Josh Brent as he stands with his lawyers after Brent’s sentencing for his intoxication manslaughter conviction was read in court Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, in Dallas. Brent was sentenced for a drunken car crash that killed his friend and teammate, Jerry Brown Jr. He could have been sentenced to up to 20 years in prison. (AP Photo/Pool/LM Otero, Pool)

One of Josh Brent’s attorneys, Kevin Brooks, joined KRLD-FM today. Here are some highlights from the interview. 

Audio - Josh Brent attorney Kevin Brooks - 1053 the fan krld - The Boys Are Back 2014

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW

On Josh Brent’s feelings right now:

“Josh is not the person that some folks have made him out to be. The people that know Josh will tell you that and if you ever spend any time around him you would see that he’s a very private person. In a lot of ways he’s an extremely shy guy, which would be surprising for someone his size and his physical presence. When we went back in the holding cell after the verdict Josh wasn’t jumping up and down happy. He was still extremely somber. I told him, ‘You’ve got a lot to process,’ because as I said during closing arguments this is something that he has lived with since December 8.”

On how this has changed Josh Brent:

“I can only go — in terms of how he was before this accident — by what people have told me. They described him before this accident as a very upbeat, positive, happy-go-lucky kind of guy. Since then they’ve noticed that he’s become extremely reserved, which is not surprising knowing that he’s had this thing hanging over head for almost a year a half. But he is still a fairly reserved, quiet, private individual.”

On the 10-year probation:

“For him to get probation in this case the jury had to come back with a sentence of 10 years or less. Anything above 10 years, they could not recommend probation so the 10 years was the starting point. And obviously the next point was do they recommend probation, which they did. The judge sentenced him to 10 years of probation. In the state of Texas that’s the maximum amount of time a person can be placed on probation is 10 years. If he were to violate he’s looking at 10 years.”

On returning to football:

“As far as the Cowboys or going back to the Cowboys or anything like that, that’s never been part of our discussions.”

On people saying Josh Brent got off light:

“They weren’t privy to the evidence that the jury saw and heard, particularly during the punishment phase. They were not there to witness the real grace and forgiveness that Jerry Brown’s mom came across with it. It’s pretty clear from here testimony to the jury that she did not want Josh going to prison and Josh was a second son to hear. And then the other thing that I think most citizens don’t know is there are people on probation for that same offense and one of the things that we brought out during the punishment phase is that presently there are 34 people on probation for that offense. One of the things we did not bring out, the year before there was 55 people on probation for that same offense. So in terms of painting this probation as something that’s unusual or unheard of, I think we were able to show that’s simply not the case.”

On the terms of Brent’s probation:

“There are a lot of terms and conditions. Generally there are 17 that are standardized and they can be as simple as pay your probation fee each month, perform a number of community service hours as determined by the judge, attend alcohol or drug treatment classes, restitution payments if necessary. Things of that nature. Any of those things are what you called technical violations. They rarely result in a person’s probation being revoked. The main thing would be continuing to test positive for any drugs or committing a new offense whether it’s alcohol-related or not.”

On what his restrictions are on driving:

“Those are the types of things that fall under terms and conditions of probation for him and those are things that the judge can add or takeaway. I have no doubt that at the point he’s released at the end of the 180 days, he’s going to put him on a monitor. He’s going to put him on what’s called a ‘SCRAM’ which will let the court know if he’s using alcohol. He’s not going to be allowed to drink alcohol while on probation, so there’s going to be a lot of restrictions on him and there’s going to be a lot of technical devices to monitor him and what he’s doing or consuming.”


Media Coverage immediately following the sentencing of Josh Brent

.

.

Try this link for Dallas/Ft Worth breaking news coverage (NBC DFW)


COWLISHAW EDITORIAL: Will fans be as forgiving if Dallas Cowboys bring Josh Brent back?

dallas cowboys josh brent - the boys are back blog

A light sentence handed to Josh Brent on an intoxication manslaughter charge Friday — 180 days in jail plus 10 years’ probation — was no great surprise. This is Texas. If you’re going to be convicted of manslaughter on a drinking-and-driving charge (after you have already been convicted of another DUI), this is one of the better states to avoid doing hard time.

A recent case in which a 17-year-old was basically deemed too spoiled to be responsible for having killed four people while driving drunk — he received no jail time — still boggles the mind. Against that backdrop, finding a jury quick to sympathize with Brent after he had jeopardized the holiest of careers — playing for the Dallas Cowboys — must not have been overly difficult.

And yet I believe the idea of Brent jumping right back into a Cowboys uniform and playing next season — he will be free from jail in plenty of time — would repulse much of the fan base. Cowboys fans have long accepted a reasonable amount of aberrant behavior from their heroes as long as they produced titles. Such a quick willingness to forgive and forget here could be the last straw for many struggling to maintain ties with a team so far removed from its championship glory.

A DMN survey suggests a majority of fans will be ready to see Brent back in cleats this fall. We shall see on that.

The problem for me is that giving Brent probation has proved to be a failed cure. He received probation for a DUI charge at the University of Illinois and, yet, there he was in the wee hours of Dec. 8, 2012, finishing off about 17 drinks (according to the evidence) before climbing into his Mercedes, driving recklessly and killing his friend and teammate, Jerry Brown Jr.

Brown’s mother forgave Brent long ago. Is that really all that matters? If the victim’s family forgives, does that mean a serious crime was not committed?

A disturbing but not overly surprising sentence was handed down by a jury Friday.

Time will tell whether the Cowboys — desperate for anyone to play the role of defensive lineman — forgive as quickly and how their fans cope with that decision.

LENIENCY GRANTED BY JURY: Former Dallas Cowboys DT Josh Brent sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years probation

LENIENCY GRANTED BY JURY - Former Dallas Cowboys DT Josh Brent sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years probation - The Boys Are Back 2014

DALLAS – A Texas jury sentenced former Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent to 180 days in jail and 10 years’ probation today for causing a fiery one-car crash that killed his teammate after a night of heavy drinking in 2012.

The same jury that convicted Brent, 25, earlier this week of intoxication manslaughter for the death of Jerry Brown Jr., could have sentenced him to as much as 20 years in jail.

In testimony in the sentencing phase on Thursday, the mother of the victim pleaded for leniency for Brent, saying her son would have agreed with her.

“He’s still responsible, but you can’t go on in life and hold a grudge. We all make mistakes and have to be forgiven. I’m sure that’s what Jerry would have wanted,” Stacey Jackson said.

After a night of drinking at a private club in December 2012, Brent was driving his Mercedes at 110 mph when it slammed into a curb on a state highway, flipping the car, which caught on fire, and killing Brown, then 25.


Editors comment: Expect more detailed information and the teams response shortly


PONDERING PRISON OR PROBATION: Ex-Cowboy Josh Brent awaits sentencing for intoxication manslaughter of friend Jerry Brown Jr.

PONDERING PRISON OR PROBATION - Ex-Cowboy Josh Brent awaits sentencing for intoxication manslaughter of Jerry Brown Jr. - Dallas Cowboys 2013 2014

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.

Police said Brent’s blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit at the time of the wreck. Dallas Cowboys players Barry Church and Danny McCray testified during the trial.

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.”


Most recent posts regarding Josh Brent:

THE JURY VERDICT IS IN: Former Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent found guilty of intoxication manslaughter

LAW AND ORDER: Dallas Cowboys teammates testify in Josh Brent intoxication manslaughter trial | Brent’s defense rests | Jury to deliberate next week

For all posts (and pictures) related to Josh Brent, click here


THE JURY VERDICT IS IN: Former Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent found guilty of intoxication manslaughter

Former Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent stared out the window during deliberations Wednesday at the Dallas County courthouse - The Boys Are Back 2014

Jurors found former Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent guilty of intoxication manslaughter this afternoon.

The jury of 10 women and two men deliberated for more than two hours this morning. That followed 3 1/2 hours of discussions Tuesday about the case against Brent, who is accused of killing his teammate Jerry Brown Jr. in a December 2012 car crash in Irving. The jury of 10 women and two men deliberated for a total of about nine hours before reaching the verdict.

Earlier in the morning, jurors asked to take another look at video of Brent in Club Privae, where he had allegedly been drinking.

The five biggest revelations in trial of ex-Cowboy Josh Brent - 7 - Josh Brent is found guilty of intoxicated manslaughter and put into handcuffs at Crowley Criminal Courts Building in Dallas

After the verdict was read, the former Dallas Cowboy was handcuffed and led from the courtroom in the custody of the Dallas County sheriff’s office.

The trial’s punishment phase will begin Thursday. Brent faces up to 20 years in prison for the December 2012 crash that killed teammate and best friend Jerry Brown Jr.


The five biggest revelations in trial of ex-Cowboy Josh Brent - 1

Josh Brent, a 320-pound defense lineman, had been drinking champagne and cognac on the night of the crash. To register a blood alcohol level of 0.18 meant he had to have had 17 standard-sized alcoholic beverages. Brent told police at the crash scene that he had an alcohol “buzz.” He blamed the wreck on having trouble slowing down, not alcohol. Photo: Ron Baselice

The five biggest revelations in trial of ex-Cowboy Josh Brent - 2

Brent was drinking straight out of a bottle inside Privae, a private club in Dallas. Surveillance video from the club shows Brent raising his arms with a bottle in each hand. Customers must purchase a bottle to have a table. Waitresses from the club and a Dallas restaurant, Eddie V’s, testified they did not think Brent was intoxicated. Defense attorneys rebutted video footage, saying he could have been drinking from glass water bottles that only appeared to be alcohol. Photo: Rex C. Curry

The five biggest revelations in trial of ex-Cowboy Josh Brent - 3

Brent was driving at least 110 mph on the service road of State Highway 114 when he flipped his white Mercedes. The posted speed limit was 45 mph. It threw Brown, 25, on top of Brent and cushioned him from serious injury, said Irving Police investigator James Fairbairn. Photo: Ron Baselice

The five biggest revelations in trial of ex-Cowboy Josh Brent - 4

Defense attorneys attacked the validity of tests that determined Brent’s blood alcohol level. They said the testing procedures were flawed. Partial data on water used as a control substance showed trace amounts of ethanol, an alcohol. But prosecutors submitted complete data that showed no ethanol in the water. Photo: Ron Baselice

The five biggest revelations in trial of ex-Cowboy Josh Brent - 5

Jerry Brown Jr’s blood alcohol level was just below the legal limit to drive. It was 0.079 when he died, said Dallas County medical examiner Jeffrey Barnard. Brown died of blunt force injuries to his neck and head. Neither player was wearing a seat belt. Photo: LM Otero/AP


Related article … posted here on January 18, 2014:

LAW AND ORDER: Dallas Cowboys teammates testify in Josh Brent intoxication manslaughter trial | Brent’s defense rests | Jury to deliberate next week

For all posts (and pictures) related to JOSH BRENT, click here


LAW AND ORDER: Dallas Cowboys teammates testify in Josh Brent intoxication manslaughter trial | Brent’s defense rests | Jury to deliberate next week

LAW AND ORDER - Dallas Cowboys testify in Josh Brent intoxication manslaughter trial Jerry Brown - Brent’s defense rests - Jury to deliberate Josh Brent fate next week

Dallas Cowboys players who were reportedly with Brent earlier in the night of the accident have been called in to testify. Current members of the Dallas Cowboys are now testifying in Josh Brent’s intoxication manslaughter trial.

The trial began Monday, but it wasn’t until Thursday that Cowboys players Barry Church, and Danny McCray took the stand. Orlando Scandrick was also at the courthouse for the trial but did not testify. 

Brent has been accused of driving drunk and crashing his vehicle, resulting in the death of his Dallas Cowboys teammate and friend, Jerry Brown, on Dec. 8, 2012. A forensic toxicologist estimates that ex-Cowboy Josh Brent consumed 17 drinks the night he crashed his Mercedes along an Irving highway. 

He faces up to 20 years in prison but could also be sentenced to probation.

Brent, who played in 12 games in 2012 and would have competed for a starting spot as a defensive tackle last season, has since retired.


Toxicologist estimates Josh Brent had 17 drinks before fatal crash

Law and Order - Toxicologist estimates Josh Brent had 17 drinks before fatal crash

DALLAS –– A forensic toxicologist estimates that ex-Cowboy Josh Brent consumed 17 drinks the night he crashed his Mercedes along an Irving highway, resulting in the death of friend and teammate Jerry Brown Jr.

Justin Schwane is the man who tested a sample of Brent’s blood after the crash and determined his blood alcohol content to be .18, more than twice the legal limit of .08. He was the first witness to take the stand Wednesday at the Frank Crowley Courthouse, the third day of testimony in Brent’s trial.

“I estimate approximately 17 standard size drinks in a 320 to 325 pound man like him,” Schwane said.

Brent told police he drank fewer than five.

Schwane works for the Southwest Institute of Forensic Science or SWIFS. Under cross-examination defense attorney Deanna Grant questioned Schwane on his credentials and on the integrity of the blood alcohol testing.

She questioned how Brent’s blood was stored, what additives were used to test the blood and about the testing equipment used.

Grant is trying to show the equipment was contaminated. During test runs, she said, a trace of alcohol showed up in a vial of pure water.

Schwane stood firm on his testimony, saying the tests met industry standards, the vials were properly stored and the equipment is not contaminated.

The wreck occurred on Dec. 8, 2012 after the two men left Club Privae in northwest Dallas. Prosecutors say a drunken Brent hit a curb and flipped his Mercedes. Brown died after the crash. 

On Tuesday, the jury saw video of his arrest. Brent was aggravated that an officer was drawing his blood to test for alcohol. Irving officer Travis Huckaby testified the retired Cowboy seemed “more concerned about getting home” than the fate of his friend. He said Brent’s “eyes welled up with tears and for the first time showed real emotion” upon being told his friend was dead.

Testimony is continuing Wednesday afternoon. Waitresses at the restaurants and clubs where Brent and other Dallas Cowboys players were partying in the hours leading up to the crash are expected to take the stand.

In addition to the intoxication manslaughter charge, Brent was also indicted for manslaughter. If a jury finds he was not intoxicated, he can still be convicted on the second count.

Brent’s attorneys do not deny he was driving too fast when he flipped his car.


Defense rests in manslaughter case of former Dallas Cowboys DT Josh Brent

LAW AND ORDER - Dallas Cowboys testify in Josh Brent intoxication manslaughter trial Jerry Brown - Josh Brent Trial

DALLAS (AP) — Former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent‘s case in a fatal wreck that left his close friend and teammate dead will soon head to a jury, after his attorneys finished their case in one day, arguing again that he wasn’t drunk during the crash.

Brent’s defense called several witnesses Friday to make the case they laid out from the very beginning: The blood tests implicating him for drinking were wrong, and photos and video of him appearing to be drunk are misleading. Brent’s lead attorney, George Milner, rested his case Friday afternoon, and lead prosecutor Heath Harris said his case was finished shortly afterward.

If convicted of intoxication manslaughter or manslaughter, Brent could get anywhere from probation to 20 years in prison.

The December 2012 wreck in the Dallas suburb of Irving killed Jerry Brown, a practice squad linebacker who played football with Brent at the University of Illinois. Milner has argued that his client was guilty of poor judgment and bad driving, but not of causing the crash by drinking beforehand.

Laboratory expert Janine Arvizu sought to poke holes in a key part of the prosecution’s case — the blood tests that showed Brent to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.189 percent, more than twice the legal limit. A toxicologist estimated the 320-pound Brent would have had to have 17 drinks to get that drunk.

But Arvizu accused the Dallas County crime lab of using potentially spoiled fluid to process Brent’s blood samples, something she compared to a person drinking milk past its expiration date.

“Just because a result is precise doesn’t mean it’s accurate,” Arvizu said.

Judge Robert Burns would not let her testify about other problems she identified with the crime lab, calling them “pure speculation.”

A waitress at the Dallas nightclub where Brent, Brown and other Cowboys players visited that night testified that the club served water in bottles that looked like Champagne — part of Milner’s argument that security video of Brent holding the bottles might not have meant he was drinking alcohol.

Milner also argued Brent wasn’t a skilled driver and could have caused the wreck without being affected by liquor. Aya Matsuda, a restaurateur and close friend of Brent’s, recalled giving him rides to practice after finding out that he was taking the bus because he didn’t have a car.

Asked about his drinking at the nightclub, Matsuda said: “He didn’t have a single drink in his hand the whole, entire night.”

But Irving Police Officer James Fairbairn, under questioning by Milner, said Brent swerved and caused the wreck after initially hitting a curb because he was under the influence.

“Had he not been intoxicated, he probably never would have ended up at that point,” Fairbairn said.

The trial so far has taken a week. With the prosecution and defense both wrapping up their cases, the closely watched trial that’s included testimony from two Cowboys players could finish sooner than the two weeks originally expected.


Jury to deliberate in Josh Brent case next week

Law and Order - Josh Brent's attorney George Miller talks with media during the lunch break

A Dallas County jury is expected to decide next week whether former Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent was drunk the night of a car crash that killed his best friend and teammate, or whether he was sober and simply driving too fast.

In the defense’s only day of testimony Friday, Brent’s attorneys tried to undermine the validity of his blood alcohol test and offered other explanations for his behavior. Prosecutors maintained that Brent was drunk at the time of the crash.

These diverging arguments have been at the center of the contentious, weeklong trial in which Brent is charged with intoxication manslaughter for the crash that killed 25-year-old Jerry Brown Jr. The jurors will decide which version of events they believe after final arguments that begin Tuesday morning.

The defense called on a lab quality auditor Friday to testify that the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences didn’t follow industry protocols when testing Brent’s blood for alcohol in December 2012.

The tests showed that he had a blood alcohol level of 0.18, more than two times the legal driving limit of 0.08.

Janine Arvizu testified that water used as a control substance in one of the tests contained trace amounts of ethanol, an alcohol. She also testified that the institute wasn’t accredited by rigorous international standards in December 2012.

But before Arvizu took the stand, prosecutors took issue with her expertise and questioned her extensively about her qualifications. Judge Robert Burns III allowed only part of her testimony before the jury.

Earlier in the week, a toxicologist testified that defense attorneys were presenting incomplete blood test data and that the test was accurate.

Also Friday, defense attorneys rebutted video footage that showed Brent drinking inside a nightclub before the crash and argued that he could have been drinking from glass water bottles that only appeared to be alcohol.

Aya Matsuda, a friend who was with Brent before the crash, testified she didn’t see him consume alcohol.

The defense also portrayed Brent as an inexperienced driver who was prone to speeding, and suggested that these factors alone could explain the crash.

Matsuda, who works at a Japanese restaurant near where Brent lived in Irving, said Brent often walked to get takeout because he didn’t have a car. When he later got one, she said, she’d see his car “flying by” the restaurant.

The prosecution countered with records that show Brent’s Illinois driver’s license was issued in 2004.


For all posts (and pictures) related to JOSH BRENT, click here

dallas cowboys nt josh brent and teammate jerry brown - 2012 - the boys are back blog

2008: In 2008 as a sophomore, he recorded 34 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 10 games with eight starts.

2009: In 2009 as a junior, he started all 12 games, recording 29 tackles (7 for loss) and three sacks.

2009: Brent pleaded guilty to a charge of driving under the influence on June 2, 2009, as a result of an incident from the previous February.

2012: Brent received his first career starts in 2012, replacing an injured Jay Ratliff and was coming on strong as a key player on the defensive line.

2012: On December 8, 2012, he flipped his car on the Texas State Highway 114 at 2:21 a.m. while driving under the influence, killing his passenger, college and Cowboys teammate Jerry Brown.

2012: On December 26, 2012, a grand jury indicted Brent on one count of intoxication manslaughter.

2013: On May 24, 2013, the Dallas district attorney requested to revoke Brent’s bail for not adhering to the monitoring conditions and send him to jail to await trial.

%d bloggers like this: