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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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meezmos January 24 2014 at 9:18 PM

180 days in jail for manslaughter is ridiculous, and I dont see jail as a fix all, but when you take away someones life, there should be more jail time than 180 days. These athletes and entertainers get treated with kid gloves.........ooh, you dont want to offend them cause they bring money to your city blah blah blah...

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Ejbeoris January 24 2014 at 8:41 PM

180 days? And then he will be back on the street to kill someone else. He should be put behind bars for 5 years and then given no license to drive any type of motor vehicle for 2 years after release from prison. The guy is a dangerous alcoholic. He killed another human being. MANSLAUGHTER! 180 days? That is a joke. A travesty. And a sad and serious symptom of our inept legal system. In some countries they would simply shoot him thru the head and throw the carcass in the river. God bless.

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1 reply
MARCELLE NOSS Ejbeoris January 24 2014 at 9:40 PM

I don't think the whales would even eaten that bucket of lard had he been shot and thrown into the river or ocean.

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viper95614 January 24 2014 at 2:59 PM

This makes me ill......I agree with dave. There really is no real justice in this country in my opinion. it's who you are etc etc........

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1 reply
Joseph L viper95614 January 24 2014 at 3:15 PM


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lakota6020 January 24 2014 at 8:40 PM

Don't get me wrong ,I love Texas, but this is another case of money walking. The rich kid killing 4 and now this rich man getting 6 months ... in which he won't have to serve the full sentence is just disgusting. It appears where ever one lives the rich walk easy.

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Robert Alderman January 24 2014 at 8:40 PM

Revoke his driving priviledges for years.

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karambee January 24 2014 at 3:00 PM

I understand the sentiments of the familes and they had forgiven each other. But 180 days is not enought time for causing the death of another person by driving under the influence. Six years (actually served with no good time) and ten years probation with mandatory alcohol testing and the the monitor on his car etc... maybe. Because it is not just about his friend that he killed. It is about who he kills next if he drinks and drives...because he was released after 6 months.

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1 reply
Joseph L karambee January 24 2014 at 3:14 PM

What about the 17 year old who killed four(4) people! We aren't hypocrites, are we?

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1 reply
mrkite129 Joseph L January 24 2014 at 3:23 PM

No, juveniles have always had a separate set of laws, courts and legal consequences.

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jn24 January 24 2014 at 8:16 PM

Well I am sorry,I feel in both cases they deserved much more jail time then neither got,Do that in the state and you are going away for some time 5 too 10 years and that say the least

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leslie January 24 2014 at 3:09 PM

Not to worry too much, he'll be locked up sooner or later when he runs out of money, after all the law suits, just like OJ! Too bad someone else had to check out to pay for his ignorant butt!

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1 reply
Joseph L leslie January 24 2014 at 3:21 PM

So will the "rich white kid"!

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Dan Hartman January 24 2014 at 7:38 PM

Shows you that justice is for those who can afford it !!

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1 reply
jn24 Dan Hartman January 24 2014 at 8:17 PM

and I believe you are so right,depends who and what you are and how much money you have.Joe

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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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