Breaking News Bar
updated: 1/23/2014 6:14 PM

Mother of ex-Cowboy's victim stands behind him

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Former Dallas Cowboys NFL football player Josh Brent arrives at court for closing arguments in his intoxication manslaughter trial Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, in Waco, Texas. Lawyers wrapped up their closing arguments Tuesday morning before the case went to the jury for deliberations. Prosecutors accuse the former defensive tackle of drunkenly crashing his Mercedes near Dallas during a night out in December 2012, killing his good friend and teammate, Jerry Brown.

      Former Dallas Cowboys NFL football player Josh Brent arrives at court for closing arguments in his intoxication manslaughter trial Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, in Waco, Texas. Lawyers wrapped up their closing arguments Tuesday morning before the case went to the jury for deliberations. Prosecutors accuse the former defensive tackle of drunkenly crashing his Mercedes near Dallas during a night out in December 2012, killing his good friend and teammate, Jerry Brown.

  • Former Dallas Cowboys Josh Brent bows his head as he walks into court during the penalty phase of the intoxication manslaughter trial in Dallas, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014. Brent was found guilty on Wednesday, of intoxication manslaughter and faces probation to 20 years for a fiery wreck that killed his teammate and close friend Jerry Brown.

      Former Dallas Cowboys Josh Brent bows his head as he walks into court during the penalty phase of the intoxication manslaughter trial in Dallas, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014. Brent was found guilty on Wednesday, of intoxication manslaughter and faces probation to 20 years for a fiery wreck that killed his teammate and close friend Jerry Brown.

 
Associated Press

DALLAS -- As former Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent was convicted of intoxication manslaughter and confronted with the possibility of spending up to 20 years in prison, the mother of the man he killed sat two rows behind him.

Stacey Jackson has said she's forgiven Brent. With the sentencing phase underway Thursday, Jackson could be one of several witnesses Brent's attorneys call to argue for leniency. They have previously asked for probation.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

Brent and Jerry Brown were close friends, having played football together at the University of Illinois. Brown had joined the Cowboys as a practice squad player about two months before Brent drunkenly drove home from a night of partying in December 2012 and crashed on a suburban Dallas highway.

Jurors took about nine hours over two days to convict Brent, who was led from the courtroom Wednesday in handcuffs as family members in the front row sobbed.

Jackson sat behind them and showed no visible reaction. She walked out of the courtroom with Brown's family, ignoring a reporter's questions. But she told The Dallas Morning News last month she is no longer angry at Brent and has maintained a relationship with him since the wreck.

"If being mad at Josh would bring Jerry back, I would be the No. 1 person. I would be mad as hell at him," Jackson told the newspaper, adding doing that "takes too much time and too much energy."

Prosecutors say the burly, 320-pound defensive tackle's blood-alcohol level after the wreck was 0.18 percent, more than twice the legal limit. Authorities say it would have taken as many as 17 drinks for Brown to get that drunk.

Brent's attorneys argued at trial that the blood tests were faulty and that Brent could not have drank nearly that much. Attorney George Milner said his client was "guilty of being stupid behind the wheel of a car," not drinking beforehand.

Authorities say Brent was driving his Mercedes as fast as 110 mph.

Milner has said that no one besides Jackson may have suffered from the aftermath as much as Brent, who lost his close friend and his career.

Brent played in all 12 games of the 2012 NFL season before the crash, but retired in July.

His ties to the Cowboys were prominent at trial. Two current players, Barry Church and Danny McCray, testified about hanging out with Brent and Brown, first playing video games, then having dinner and going to Privae, a Dallas nightclub.

Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee attended part of the trial to show support for Brent, and team owner Jerry Jones said this week that he was closely watching for a verdict.

"Certainly it's tragic. We've all, to some degree, have been a part of this," Jones said Tuesday, according to the Cowboys' website. "We support Josh. This has been just a terrible experience for the families who lost a loved one and for Josh who loved Jerry as well."

Jurors saw video of Brent appearing to hold bottles of Champagne in each hand and credit-card receipts that showed Brent had purchased three bottles. They 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.

It was, in the words of prosecutors Jason Hermus and Heath Harris, a textbook case of intoxication manslaughter. The prosecutors told jurors during closing arguments they should send a message about the danger posed by drunken drivers.

Hermus stood in front of Brent, hit the table and shouted: "They shouldn't be driving, no exceptions, no excuses!"

While Brent is eligible for probation, prosecutors have indicated they will push for jail time. His conviction comes just after weeks of fierce debate about a North Texas teen, Ethan Couch, who received probation for intoxication manslaughter after a wreck that left four people dead. Couch's case, and the so-called "affluenza" defense his attorneys employed, became the subject of fierce, widespread scrutiny.

Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins attended parts of Brent's trial and whispered in prosecutors' ears during the questioning of one witness. Watkins told a sports radio station last year that prosecutors had the responsibility to make sure Brent "loses his freedom."

------

Follow Nomaan Merchant on Twitter at https://twitter.com/nomaanmerchant

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.