Former Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent has been convicted of intoxication manslaughter for the role he played in ending the life of his friend, Jerry Brown. Brent, according to the Associated Press, is now facing up to 20 years in prison for the crash, during which he was operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
The player who once made lots of money on the roster of America’s Team was convicted by jurors after nine hours of deliberation. Brown’s mother, Stacey Jackson, was in the courtroom when the verdict was read. She has stated that she forgives the young man for his mistakes, but the courts are not going to be so easy on him.
During the trial phase, Brown’s mother may be able to play a role in getting a lighter sentence for Brent.
Brent was driving his Mercedes drunk when he crashed on a Dallas highway in 2012. The two men had been teammates at The University of Illinois. His blood alcohol level was .18 percent, more than twice the legal limit. This led the prosecution to conclude that the 320 pound man likely had 17 drinks that night before getting behind the wheel.
Two other Dallas Cowboys, Barry Church and Danny McCray, said that they hung out with Brent and Brown that day, going to dinner and then to Privae, a Dallas nightclub.
“Certainly it’s tragic. We’ve all, to some degree, have been a part of this,” said Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, according to the Cowboys’ website. “We support Josh. This has been just a terrible experience for the families who lost a loved one and for Josh who loved Jerry as well.”
There was video shown in court of Brent holding up bottles of champagne and receipts proving that he’d bought three bottles. He also miserably failed the field sobriety tests given to him by police after the accident. The prosecution is seeking prison time for Brent. But this case comes right after Ethan Couch, a white teen in Texas, was given probation after being convicted of intoxication manslaughter and killing four people. His case, in which he was determined to suffer from “affluenza,” outraged millions who felt he should have gone to prison.