Former Illini charged after another ex-Illini dies in auto accident
IRVING, Texas — Dallas Cowboys practice-squad linebacker and former University of Illinois player Jerry Brown was killed in a one-car accident Saturday, and teammate Josh Brent, another ex-Illini, was charged with intoxication manslaughter.
Irving police spokesman John Argumaniz said the accident happened about 2:20 a.m. Saturday in the Dallas suburb. Brent was speeding when the vehicle hit a curb and flipped at least once, Argumaniz said.
Argumaniz says the 25-year-old Brown was found unresponsive at the scene and pronounced dead at a hospital.
The police spokesman said officers conducted a field sobriety test on Brent and arrested him. The charge was upgraded after Brown was pronounced dead.
"We are deeply saddened by the news of this accident and the passing of Jerry Brown," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement released by the team. "At this time, our hearts and prayers and deepest sympathies are with the members of Jerry's family and all of those who knew him and loved him."
Brown was part of Ron Zook's first full class in February 2006 that included current NFL players Vontae Davis, Jeff Cumberland, Jon Asamoah, Michael Hoomanawanui and Juice Williams. Brent was part of Zook's 2007 class with Arrelious Benn and Martez Wilson.
The Cowboys said in a statement that Brent was not on the team flight to Cincinnati, where the Cowboys play the Bengals on Sunday.
Argumaniz said Brent is being held without bail. Brent is named as Joshua Price-Brent in the police news release. Argumaniz also said Brent missed a 10 a.m. Saturday booking session with a judge because he was intoxicated. He does not know if Brent has an attorney.
Brent was arrested in February 2009 near the University of Illinois campus for driving under the influence, driving on a suspended license and speeding, according to Champaign County, Ill., court records.
In June 2009, Brent pleaded guilty to DUI and was sentenced to 60 days in jail, two years of probation, 200 hours of community service and a fine of about $2,000. As part of his plea deal, prosecutors dropped one count of aggravated DUI/no valid driver's license. Brent successfully completed his probation in July 2011, court records show.
The accident happened a week after another NFL tragedy. Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend and then committed suicide on Dec. 1.
Brent has played in all 12 games this season and has been a bigger presence on defense with starting nose guard Jay Ratliff battling injuries. He made his first career start the season opener against the New York Giants and has 35 tackles and 1Ĺ sacks.
The Cowboys signed Brown to their practice squad Oct. 24, but he hasn't been on the active roster.
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