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Josh Brent Sentenced for Wreck That Killed Cowboys Teammate

Josh Brent

Josh Brent

By Schuyler Dixon

DALLAS — Former Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent avoided prison and instead was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years of probation for a drunken car crash that killed his friend and teammate, Jerry Brown.

Brent was convicted of intoxication manslaughter for the December 2012 crash on a suburban Dallas highway that killed Brown, who was a passenger in Brent’s car. Brent could have been sentenced to up to 20 years in prison. He was also fined $10,000.

Brent, 25, closed his eyes when the judge read the jury’s verdict. He was kept in custody after the hearing.

One of his attorneys, Kevin Brooks, described the former defensive tackle as “somber.”

“I’m really kind of overwhelmed with the results,” Brooks said. “It’s kind of what we’ve been fighting for from Day 1. I’m happy for Josh. Josh is still sad and grieving and that’s something he’s going to carry with him the rest of his life.”

Brent’s family members and supporters cried and hugged as the courtroom emptied after the hearing. His mother, LaTasha Brent, spoke briefly as she left the courthouse, saying she was there to support her son.

Brown’s mother, Stacey Jackson, wasn’t in the courtroom when the verdict was read. She publicly forgave Brent, and said during the sentencing proceedings: “He’s still responsible, but you can’t go on in life holding a grudge. We all make mistakes.”

Jackson was the last witness the jury heard, and lead prosecutor Heath Harris said her testimony probably helped Brent get probation.
Brent and Brown, a linebacker on the practice squad, also played together at the University of Illinois and were close friends. They were headed home from a night of partying with Dallas teammates when Brent lost control of his Mercedes and crashed. Officers who arrived on scene saw Brent trying to pull Brown’s body from the wreckage.

Blood tests pegged Brent’s blood alcohol content at 0.18 percent, which is more than twice the state’s legal limit to drive of 0.08 percent. Prosecutors told jurors that the burly, 320-pound lineman had as many as 17 drinks on the night of the crash.

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