DALLAS (AP) — Josh Brent is no longer a Dallas Cowboy, but the stars on his old helmet figure heavily into his upcoming trial for a teammate’s death in a 2012 wreck.
Brent’s trial is set to start Monday on allegations that he was driving drunk and caused the death of Dallas practice squad player Jerry Brown. If convicted of intoxication manslaughter or manslaughter, Brent could get 20 years in prison, but he could also get probation.
Brent’s attorney has argued his client deserves probation, and Brown’s mother says she has forgiven her son’s college teammate and friend. But prosecutors have made Brent’s case a priority, and it comes to trial after weeks of debate over a case in neighboring Tarrant County that ended with a teenage motorist getting probation for a drunken wreck that killed four people last year.
“We do anticipate that this case will send a clear message about how strongly the citizens of Dallas County feel about their intoxication laws,” said Heath Harris, the Dallas County first assistant district attorney, in an interview shortly after Brent’s arrest in December 2012.
George Milner, Brent’s attorney, has said his client was struggling months later with the aftermath of the accident. Brent was put on leave from the Cowboys and retired last year. Several Cowboys players could testify during the two-week trial, including those who were drinking with Brent and Brown the night of the wreck.
“All he had was Jerry Brown and his teammates on the Cowboys,” Milner said. “Now he has none of that.”
Brent and Brown were headed home the morning of Dec. 8, 2012, after a night out. The two were roommates and close friends from their days at the University of Illinois.
Brent was a defensive tackle who had played in all 12 games of the 2012 NFL season. Brown was a linebacker who had been signed to the Cowboys’ practice squad that season.
Police said Brent was speeding when his Mercedes hit the side of a highway in the Dallas suburb of Irving and flipped over at least once. Irving Police spokesman John Argumaniz said officers responding to the crash found Brent trying to drag Brown from a fiery vehicle.
Police said tests showed Brent had a blood alcohol level that was more than twice the legal limit.
The case has gotten widespread attention, even after Brent’s retirement last July. Brent was briefly jailed after testing positive multiple times for marijuana, but remains on bond.
Among the NFL players that have been listed as potential witnesses are safeties Danny McCray and Barry Church, who have said they were among the teammates with Brent and Brown that night, and cornerback Orlando Scandrick.
“Everybody had maybe a little too much to drink,” Church told The Dallas Morning News last month. “Nobody thought maybe we should get (Brent) a ride. He seemed intoxicated, but not like, ‘Ah, I can’t make it type.’ We’ve all been there. We’ve all been behind the wheel a little intoxicated.”
Brown’s mother, Stacey Jackson, also told the newspaper that she couldn’t stay angry at Brent for what happened.
“If being mad at Josh would bring Jerry back, I would be the No. 1 person. I would be mad as hell at him,” Jackson said, adding that doing that “takes too much time and too much energy.”
But prosecutors have indicated they will push hard for a conviction and prison time.
“A person lost his life here,” Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins said in an interview on local sports radio last year. “And so for us to protect the public and send a message, we feel that we have a responsibility to make sure that he loses his freedom.”
(AP Photo: Former Dallas Cowboys’ Josh Brent stands in court as potential jurors are directed into Judge Robert Burns, looking on in back, courtroom Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, in Dallas.)
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
1 of 31
2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
2 of 31
3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
3 of 31
4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
4 of 31
5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
5 of 31
6 of 31
7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
7 of 31
8 of 31
9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
9 of 31
10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
10 of 31
11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
11 of 31
12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
12 of 31
13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
13 of 31
14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
14 of 31
15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
15 of 31
16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
16 of 31
17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
17 of 31
18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
18 of 31
19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
19 of 31
20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
20 of 31
21. Bae #retailtherapy
21 of 31
22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
22 of 31
23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
23 of 31
24. Diggy Simmons
24 of 31
25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
25 of 31
26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
26 of 31
27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
27 of 31
28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
28 of 31
29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
29 of 31
30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
30 of 31
31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
31 of 31