DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Jurors have reached a guilty verdict in the intoxication manslaughter trial of former Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent.
Jurors began on deliberating on Tuesday morning and spent one night sequestered before resuming deliberations Wednesday morning. They returned with a verdict Wednesday afternoon, less than an hour before they were scheduled to end deliberations for the day.
Brent, 25, showed no reaction when he learned the verdict. He was led from the courtroom in handcuffs in front of crying family members who were in the front row of the courtroom gallery.
Prosecutors argued that Brent was driving 110 mph, with a blood alcohol level of .189, when he flipped his car, killing his passenger and teammate Jerry Brown Jr. During the trial, they showed videos of Brent drinking plus receipts from a restaurant and nightclub to prove Brent had consumed as many as 17 drinks the night of the crash. Jurors also saw police dash cam footage of Brent losing his balance during field sobriety tests and occasionally stumbling over his words while talking to officers.
Brent’s attorneys argued that the blood tests used by police were flawed and that Brent did not have nearly that much alcohol.
Attorneys from both sides remain under a gag order that prevented them from commenting after the proceedings.
The same jury, of 10 women and two men, will now decide what punishment Brent will face, which can range from probation to 20 years in prison. The sentencing phase will begin on Thursday. Brown’s mother, Stacey Jackson, has said in interviews that she has forgiven Brent. Jackson could testify on Brent’s behalf at sentencing.
Brent, a defensive tackle, had played in all 12 games of the 2012 NFL season before the crash. He retired in July.
Brown was signed to the Cowboys’ practice squad in the 2012 season.
After the verdict was read Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones released this statement: “We understand the very serious nature of this situation and express our concerns for all of the families and individuals that have been affected by the tragedy of Jerry Brown’s death.”
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