Texas jury weighs sentence for ex Cowboys player Brent

Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:33pm EST
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By Lisa Maria Garza

DALLAS (Reuters) - A Texas jury heard sentencing testimony on Thursday for former Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent, who was convicted a day earlier of intoxication manslaughter and faces up to 20 years in jail for a car crash that killed teammate Jerry Brown Jr.

The jury deliberated for an hour without reaching a decision after hearing prosecutors demand jail time for Brent and the mother of the victim pleading for leniency, saying her son would have agreed with her.

The same jury that convicted Brent will reconvene on Friday for a second day of deliberation on his sentence.

"He's still responsible, but you can't go on in life and hold a grudge. We all make mistakes and have to be forgiven. I'm sure that's what Jerry would have wanted," Stacey Jackson said.

Jackson said she would favor probation for Brent, which is a possible sentence the jury could impose.

After a night of drinking at a private club in December 2012, Brent was driving his Mercedes at 110 mph when it slammed into a curb on a state highway, flipping the car, which caught on fire, and killing Brown, then 25.

Brent's blood alcohol level was 0.189 at the time, more than double the legal limit in Texas, according to police documents.

Prosecutors called five witnesses in the sentencing phase including the crash scene investigator, a jail official who said Brent tested positive for marijuana while on bond and an Illinois state trooper who had arrested Brent for drunk driving in 2009 when he played football for the University of Illinois.   Continued...

Former Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent enters the courtroom in Dallas, Texas January 14, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Stone