DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Opening statements began on Monday morning in the trial of former Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent. The defensive tackle was charged with intoxication manslaughter after an Irving car crash that killed his good friend and fellow teammate Jerry Brown in December 2012.
Attorneys on each side of this case promised to show very different things. The prosecution argued that there “is no disputing the fact” that Brent was driving drunk on the night of that fatal crash that left Brown dead. The defense disagrees.
This is such a high-profile story that the Dallas County District Attorney’s top prosecutor is handling the case. Heath Harris laid out a chronology of events showing that Brent and Brown were visiting nightclubs for nearly six hours before the crash. At one point, Harris said, Brent bought three bottles of champagne.
Harris also told jurors that they will see Brent fail a field sobriety test and then lie to officers about how much he was drinking. Brent’s blood test showed him to have a blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit, police had said.
George Milner is Brent’s attorney. He explained that there is no way that his client had consumed enough alcohol to be intoxicated. By weighing some 320 pounds, Milner added, Brent could drink far more alcohol than the average person without getting drunk. Milner claimed that the former Cowboys player was only “guilty of being stupid and guilty of driving too fast.”
Harris and Milner made their opening statements after completing jury selection on Friday.
The first witness was the Irving police officer who was first to arrive at the crash scene. He said that he saw Brent pulling Brown out of the wrecked car that night. The jury is expected to see police dashboard camera video that confirms this statement, along with the 911 calls related to the crash, later on Monday.
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