DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – On the third day of testimony for former Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent’s intoxication manslaughter trial, the focus turned to the number of drinks Brent had the night of the deadly crash.
Dallas County prosecutors began the day by establishing Brent’s blood alcohol content was .189 when his blood was drawn after the crash that killed his teammate and friend Jerry Brown. Texas law determines drivers with a BAC of .08 or higher are considered intoxicated. Brent’s BAC was more than twice the legal limit.
Toxicologist Justin Schwane, who tested three vials of Brent’s blood taken from the night of the crash, was first to testify on Wedesday. To achieve a BAC of .189, Schwane told the jury a man of Brent’s weight – 320 lbs. – would have consumed 17 drinks. Since the beginning, Brent maintained that he had four or five drinks prior to the crash and was only buzzed.
During cross examination, DWI defense specialist Deandra Grant grilled the toxicologist on his credentials and the validity of the BAC analysis test. Grant suggested the ethanol found in Brent’s test was actually from other samples in the lab. But even given the test’s 9% margin of error, the toxicologist said Brent still would have been over the limit.
Wednesday afternoon, Irving police officer James Fairbairn — a crash investigation expert — was called to the stand.
Fairbarn testified that Brent was traveling 110 miles per hour when he crashed in a 45 mile per hour zone. He showed the jurors the area of impact and reconstruction diagrams, highlighting the fact that there were no skid marks found at the crash scene. Skid marks are indicative of hitting the brakes. He pointed out to the jurors, scuff marks and tire gouging marks in the roadway.
Fairbairn says he spent six hours at the scene immediately following Brent’s crash and determined through the evidence that neither Brent nor Brown was wearing a seatbelt.
Photographs shown to the jury depicted the wreckage of Brent’s Mercedes. Three wheels were torn off, plus the hood and sunroof. The engine was mangled and leaking fluids all over the concrete.
Fairbairn says the car landed upside down, moving 161 feet per second over the course of 871 feet from the time of the crash until the car came to a stop, a distance close to three football fields in length.
In cross examination, the defense argued it was speed, not intoxication that caused the fatal crash.
Prosecutors ended the day with expert witness Timothy Lovett on the stand.
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