A Dallas jury has convicted former Cowboys player Josh Brent of intoxication manslaughter in a wreck that killed a teammate.
The jury on Wednesday found Brent guilty in a December 2012 wreck in suburban Dallas that killed Cowboys practice squad player Jerry Brown, who was Brent's close friend and also his college teammate.
Brent faces up to 20 years in prison, though he's also eligible for probation.
Brent and Brown were heading home from a nightclub, where they had partied with other Cowboys players, when Brent lost control of his Mercedes.
He was found to have a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit.
Brent's attorneys argued authorities' blood tests were flawed and that their client was a bad driver, but not drunk at the time of the crash.
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 is eligible for probation but faces up to 20 years in prison for the December 2012 crash that killed teammate and best friend Jerry Brown Jr.
The jury of 10 women and two men deliberated for about seven hours Tuesday and Wednesday.
Brent and Brown left a northwest Dallas club in the early morning hours of Dec. 8, 2012. Brent soon hit a curb off State Highway 114 at a high rate of speed and flipped his Mercedes. It caught fire with Brown inside. Brent pulled his friend from the car, witnesses said, but first responders testified that he was dead upon their arrival.
Brent’s blood alcohol content taken after the crash was .189, more than twice the legal limit of .08. The defense’s argument attempted to pin the accident on how fast Brent was driving. George Milner, Brent’s attorney, argued that Brent was not drunk at the time of the crash and tried to make the jurors doubt the accuracy of the blood testing process. ...
But Assistant District Attorney Heath Harris rebuffed the defense’s argument. He and fellow prosecutor Jason Hermus played footage of Brent failing a field sobriety test. The arresting officer told the court Brent became agitated when he was asked to submit a breath sample to test for the presence of alcohol.
PRO: For the first time since 1995, the Dallas Cowboys selected a player in the annual Supplemental Draft, taking Illinois’ Josh Brent in the seventh round in 2010. With his selection in the Supplemental Draft, Dallas forfeited its 2011 seventh round draft choice. Brent was counted on to contribute immediately in 2010 as part of the defensive line rotation at nose tackle. His size and good use of hands allowed him to see valuable playing time in all 16 games as the backup nose tackle to Pro Bowler Jay Ratliff. In his second pro season, Brent continued to hone his skills behind Ratliff and looks to continue his development this season.