DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Prosecutors in Dallas on Wednesday continued laying out their case against former Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent. He has been charged with intoxication manslaughter in the death of good friend and fellow teammate Jerry Brown.
Video from a police dashboard camera, along with security camera images, have already played a big role in the trial, which started on Monday at the Frank Crowley Courts Building. Prosecutors presented video of Brent entering Club Privae, and images of him inside of Eddie V.’s restaurant in Dallas on the night of the December 2012 car crash. Jury members were able to see and hear Brent in his own words.
Surveillance camera video also showed Brent getting behind the wheel of his Mercedes. Brown slipped into the vehicle beside him. Six minutes later, a 911 call reported the crash in Irving. Brown was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Police testified that Brent’s blood-alcohol level was three times the legal limit. Taking into account his gender and weight of about 320 pounds at the time of the arrest, toxicologist Justin Schwane estimated that the former NFL player had 17 drinks in his system on the night of the crash.
Schwane stated that a person with that alcohol content cannot operate a motor vehicle safely and would not have normal use of their mental or physical faculties.
Independent attorney Barry Sorrels said that the defense will have to fight any evidence of intoxication. “It’s very difficult to overcome a blood test,” said Sorrels. “Challenging the videotape, challenging a bad blood test result — this is what lawyers do.”
Defense attorney George Milner already started arguing that Brent was not drunk at the time of the crash. The defense is attempting to discredit the testimony of Schwane, who conducted the laboratory testing at the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences.
Two other Cowboys players — Barry Church and Danny McCray — were at the courthouse on Tuesday, and are both expected to testify at some point during Brent’s trial. But the prosecution spent the day focused on the video and the testimonies from police officers and personnel from the hospital where Brent was taken for his blood-alcohol test.
The nurse who took Brent’s blood testified that the former NFL player became angry and aggressive, forcing officers to place him back in handcuffs.
If convicted of intoxication manslaughter, Brent faces up to 20 years in prison.
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