DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Family, attorneys and spectators packed the courtroom early Tuesday morning; to hear closing arguments in the intoxication manslaughter trail of former Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent.
After one week of hearing evidence and arguments from both sides, the jury must now decide beyond a reasonable doubt if Brent is guilty of driving intoxicated on December 8, 2012, and that the act of doing so killed his friend and fellow teammate Jerry Brown.
Brent had the support of family and friends in the courtroom. His mother, Latasha Brent, and grandmother were there to hear the closing arguments in the case. Sitting one row behind them was Stacey Jackson – Jerry Brown’s mother.
Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee and former Cowboy Nate Newton were also in the gallery to support their friend.
Assistant prosecutor Jason Hermus replayed the Irving police dash camera video for the jury… that shows Brent swaying during the field sobriety test. Hermus told the jury, “There is no other explanation. You have to believe your own eyes. To dispute that he’s intoxicated is to disbelieve your own eyes.”
The jury listened closely as Hermus reiterated the toxicologist findings. Two tests showed Brent’s blood alcohol content (BAC) to be .189.
The prosecutor tallied up the number of drinks Brent had leading up to the crash – saying he could prove on paper that Brent had 13 to14 drinks, not counting if he self-served.
In closing, Hermus looked right at Brent as he said, “Your bad choices killed your friend.”
For the defense, attorney Keven Brooks emphasized opinion and speculation on the part of the prosecution. He said the only thing proven was that Brent ate and drank alcohol at Eddie V’s and then bought three bottles of champagne at Club Privae.
Brooks reminded the jury that the law prohibits conviction, based on speculation. He went on to suggest that it would be unreasonable to assume anyone who survived a crash of that magnitude could perform a field sobriety test.
Lead defense attorney George Milner told the jury even police said that at 110 miles per hour, that crash was going to happen. He then stated flatly to the panel, “If you get the verdict wrong that’s something you’ll have to live with the rest of your life.”
Milner asked the jury to find the defendant not guilty because, “Josh Brent is not guilty.”
Lead prosecutor Heath Harris concluded for the state, showing first a photo of Jerry Brown. “This is not the time for sympathy,” he said.
He then showed images of the various types of alcohol prosecutors say Brent was drinking in the hours before the crash. Harris concluded by asking the jury to find Brent because he is guilty.
Closing arguments wrapped at 11 a.m. The 10 women and two men of the jury went to lunch, came back and deliberated until just after 4 p.m. and then adjourned for the day without a verdict. The sequestered jury will begin deliberations again at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
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