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Ex-Cowboy Brent gets 180 days in jail, 10 years probation

Josh Brent Sentenced To Jail

DALLAS (AP) -- Former Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent was sentenced Friday to 180 days in jail and 10 years of probation for a drunken car crash that killed his friend and teammate, Jerry Brown.

Brent was convicted Wednesday of intoxication manslaughter for the December 2012 crash on a suburban Dallas highway that killed Brown, who was a passenger in Brent's car. Brent could have been sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.

Brent, a Cowboys defensive tackle, and Brown, a linebacker on the practice squad, also played together at the University of Illinois and were close friends. They were headed home from a night of partying Dallas teammates when Brent lost control of his Mercedes and crashed. Officers who arrived on scene saw Brent trying to pull Brown's body from the wreckage.

Blood tests pegged Brent's blood alcohol content at 0.18 percent, which is more than twice the state's legal limit to drive of 0.08 percent. Prosecutors told jurors that the burly, 320-pound lineman had as many as 17 drinks on the night of the crash.

One of Brent's attorneys, George Milner, argued that Brent wasn't drunk and was only "guilty of being stupid behind the wheel of a car." He contended that Brent couldn't have had nearly as much to drink as prosecutors said he had, and that the police blood tests were flawed.

Brent's attorneys pushed their case for probation Thursday, calling a Dallas County official who testified that the county currently has 34 intoxication manslaughter cases that resulted in probation.

Kevin Brooks, one of Brent's attorneys, said the one-time defensive tackle would be easy to monitor because of "who he is and who he was." Brent retired from football last year.

Brown's mother, Stacey Jackson, has also publicly forgiven Brent. When asked Thursday if she holds Brent responsible for her son's death, she said: "He's still responsible, but you can't go on in life holding a grudge. We all make mistakes."

Prosecutors are pushing for prison time for Brent, who went to trial only weeks after another Texas intoxication manslaughter case sparked widespread public outrage. In that case, a defense expert argued that the defendant, a 17-year-old boy who caused a drunken crash that killed four people, deserved leniency because his parents coddled him into a sense of irresponsibility - a condition the expert termed "affluenza." The teen wasn't given prison time.

On Thursday, prosecutor Rebecca Dodds emphasized Brent's 2009 drunken driving arrest in Illinois to press the state's argument that he deserves prison time. In that case, he served 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge.

"Probation doesn't work for Josh Brent," prosecutor Rebecca Dodds told the jury during closing statements in the punishment phase.

Brent played in all 12 games for the Cowboys in 2012 before the crash. Brown made the practice squad that season.

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sadiemae1214 January 24 2014 at 2:45 PM

Another senseless sentence. An adult (presumably) has way too much to drink, knows the risks and knows it's illegal but gets behind the wheel of a car anyway and kills someone in the process.
Six months is not enough. Probation or not, when he gets out, he will continue to drink because 6 months won't make a dent in his ego or his conscience. I didn't read anywhere that he lost his driving privledges for any amount of time.

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MARCELLE NOSS January 24 2014 at 9:52 PM

The sentences these days are ridiculous. Some are harsh and some are lenient. It seems that the punishments are rarely commensurate with the wrong doing. It really depends a lot on well the judge is getting serviced physically and financially.

These judges need to be voted in....not appointed. So when enough unjust sentences are handed down we can get rid of the schmuck. There are way too many unjust and corrupt judges sitting on the bench these days.

I would rather have the opportunity to systematically expose all of these judges, indict them and put them in prison with the people they put there, than to have a million dollars given to me. That is how angry I am with the system and indicative of how much I know.

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1 reply
jayneblaine MARCELLE NOSS January 24 2014 at 10:05 PM

100% agree with you. Corrupt divorce judges are the worst. Ex makes OVER 200k a year, and our corrupt divorce judge (Monica Wiley, San Francisco) decided that I could pay all the same bills including the mortgage on $2800 a month.

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Bill January 24 2014 at 9:33 PM

Good news for drunks....make sure you are drunk every time you leave the house...then, if you kill someone....you can blame it on being drunk...180 days in jail....WOW!

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1 reply
TCHSPIRIT6 Bill January 24 2014 at 10:24 PM

thought that was what the zero tolerance rules for driving were about. but that only applies to people who do not have enough $$$$ to hire a good lawyer. money talks.

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rg5827 January 24 2014 at 5:21 PM

we still let people off to easy thats why innocent people will continue being killed by drunk drivers.

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Howie January 24 2014 at 3:10 PM

Real injustice. !0 years in jail would have sent a better message to drunk drivers.

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billcdaly January 24 2014 at 3:11 PM

Again 2 different justice systems at work here;
one for the rich / famous or connected, the other for the rest of us.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
jdonoh4 January 24 2014 at 3:13 PM

The jail time is the easy part. He made a mistake and got his friend killed. I wouldn't want that on my conscience for the rest of my life. It will eat at him for years and years.

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rainmack January 24 2014 at 3:17 PM

SO many judges and so lil compassion .Jerry was probably drunk too or he wouldnt have gotten in the car with a drunk driver.The big problem is drunks dont know they are so drunk!!! And Why because their mental state is altered--who fed him the drinks and who was sober that didnt take away the keys--or was everyone drunkl??The nfl players should have a shuttle on payroll that gives rides to all partiers They can afford it -It could have beeen anyone of them.Josh was the unfortunate one .He is in his own pain now worse than jail My heart goes out to him and both families especially the Moms who raised wonderful hardworking sons.I hope you find peace.

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1 reply
Mindy rainmack January 24 2014 at 3:25 PM

Jist because Brown might have been drunk, also. That does not give this AH a free ride, but it did!

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Samuel F Maguire January 24 2014 at 3:17 PM

Ridiculous he took a man's life, this is exactly why they drive & drive, they have money for a taxi, but do not care, they think they are above the law, and do not care who they hurt or kill. He'll be back in court for the same thing! My codolences to the family.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
Samuel F Maguire January 24 2014 at 3:19 PM

I meant drink & drive.......

Flag Reply +1 rate up
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