Ex-Dallas Cowboy Brent faces trial in crash that killed teammate

Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:42am EST
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By Lisa Maria Garza

DALLAS (Reuters) - The intoxication manslaughter trial of former Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent started on Monday with prosecutors saying the defensive tackle was operating with reckless abandon when he crashed his car in 2012, killing his teammate, Jerry Brown Jr.

Brent's lawyers said their client had made a terrible mistake but was not intoxicated when he got behind the wheel.

Brent, 25, is accused of being drunk when the Mercedes he was driving at a high speed flipped over and then caught fire on a state highway on December 8, 2012.

When police arrived, they found Brent dragging Brown, 25, out of the burning car, which was resting on its roof in the middle of the road.

Brown, who had been riding in the passenger seat, was pronounced dead at a Dallas hospital a short time later.

"He was so intoxicated, he did not appreciate the danger of traveling at that high rate of speed when he exited (the highway)," Dallas County prosecutor Heath Harris told the jury.

A police affidavit stated that an officer had smelled alcohol on Brent's breath and found an unopened bottle of cognac inside the vehicle. Brent initially refused a blood sobriety test but was forced to comply after Brown's death.

Brent's blood alcohol level was 0.189, according to police documents. The legal limit in Texas is 0.08.   Continued...