DALLAS (AP) — Jurors on Tuesday began deliberating the intoxication manslaughter case against former Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent, who is accused of drunkenly crashing his car during a night out and killing his passenger, who was a close friend and teammate.
The jury got the case after lawyers delivered their closing arguments to a packed courtroom. Among those watching were Stacey Jackson, whose son Jerry Brown was killed in the December 2012 wreck, and Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee. Jackson has publicly forgiven Brent, whose sentence could range from probation to 20 years in prison if he is convicted.
Brent and Brown, a linebacker on the Cowboys’ practice squad who also played with Brent at the University of Illinois, were headed home from a nightclub where they had been partying with fellow Cowboys when Brent lost control of his Mercedes, causing a fiery accident. Officers who arrived on scene said Brent was seen trying to pull Brown’s body from the wreckage.
Prosecutors say Brent was driving as fast as 110 mph at the time of the crash and that blood tests showed his blood alcohol content was 0.18 percent, which is more than twice Texas’ legal limit to drive of 0.08 percent. Prosecutors allege that the burly, 320-pound defensive tackle had as many as 17 drinks on the night of the crash.
Brent’s attorneys contend that the blood tests used by police were faulty and that Brent couldn’t have drunk nearly that much alcohol.
Prosecutors Jason Hermus and Heath Harris called on the jury Tuesday to send a message about the serious nature of Brent’s alleged crime, saying drunken drivers put the public in danger.
Hermus stood in front of Brent, hit the table and shouted: “They shouldn’t be driving, no exceptions, no excuses!”
Hermus replayed police dash cam video of Brent losing his balance and stumbling as he tried to walk in a straight line. He referenced footage of Brent telling an Irving police officer that he was “buzzed” and nightclub security video that appears to show Brent holding up two bottles of Champagne.
“You can see with your own eyes, time and time and time again, that he is not normal,” Hermus said.
Harris held up an undamaged glass bottle of unopened Cognac found in the wrecked Mercedes. He stood next to Brent, raised the bottle as if to chug from it and told jurors that on that night, Brent was “in the club, turning it up.”
“This is almost like a poster child case for intoxication manslaughter,” Harris said.
Brent’s attorneys argued that prosecutors were misleading the jury. They cited a defense expert’s testimony that the Dallas County crime lab had used expired fluid to process Brent’s blood and came up with an incorrect result.
“In the history of mankind, there has never been created such a thing as an infallible machine,” defense attorney Kevin Brooks said. “It doesn’t exist. Has never existed. Planes crash. Computers don’t boot up. Cars stop running.”
George Milner, another of Brent’s attorneys, told jurors they had sworn at the start to keep an open mind about the case and called on them to remain skeptical and acquit Brent.
“You will not then be able to go back in time and correct a mistake if you make it now,” Milner said. “There is no going back in time.”
(AP Photo: Former Dallas Cowboys NFL football player Josh Brent gets a hug from family after closing arguments in his intoxication manslaughter trial Tuesday, Jan. 21, 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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