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.)
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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