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Josh Brent convicted of intoxication manslaughter

In our last post, we highlighted the progress of the prosecution of Josh Brent, the former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle who was involved in the crash that killed his friend and former teammate, Jerry Brown in December 2012. Brent was charged with intoxication manslaughter for his part in the crash, as prosecutors argued that his blood alcohol level (alleged to be .18) was the principal cause of the accident.

Brent’s attorneys argued that the blood alcohol testing results were flawed, and that their client did not drink as much as prosecutors alleged. (They claim he had 17 drinks during the evening.) Instead, Brent’s counsel claimed that he was only guilty of driving recklessly, and that the alcohol did not play as large a part in the accident.

Nevertheless, the jury found Brent guilty of intoxication manslaughter.  He was taken into custody after the verdict was read, and he will now await sentencing. This phase of the trial is expected to begin today. Under Texas law, the maximum sentence is 20 years in state prison. Given his criminal history, it is expected that prosecutors will seek jail time. In fact, the Dallas District Attorney said on a sports radio talk show last year that his office had a responsibility to ensure that Brent “loses his freedom.”

While the high profile nature of this trial has garnered headlines (it involves the Cowboys, after all) it is a poignant reminder of the dangers of drunk driving, as well as how many lives can be affected by decisions about alcohol.  

Source: Star-telegram.com, “Ex-Cowboy Josh Brent found guilty of intoxication manslaughter,” Mitch Mitchell, January 22, 2014

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