After more than a year had passed since the loss of his close friend, retired Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent would finally face a jury of his peers; he would answer the state's charge that he was driving under the influence of alcohol and that the consequences of his actions included the death of Jerry Brown, Jr. Today, a Dallas County jury returned a verdict in the case.
Former Dallas Cowboy #JoshBrent was found guilty of intoxication manslaughter and taken into custody.— Jennifer Emily (@dallascourts) January 22, 2014
With the announcement that he had been found guilty of the state's charge of Intoxication Manslaughter, State District Judge Robert Burns, III ordered the former NFL player taken into custody and remanded to the Dallas County jail to await sentencing. According to accounts, Brent took the verdict in stride.
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.
According to documents submitted by the State of Texas, Brent had well exceeded the blood alcohol level permitted for drivers in Texas.
Police say Brent's blood-alcohol level was tested shortly after the crash at 0.18 percent, more than twice the legal limit for drivers in Texas. Prosecutors last week argued that the burly, 320-pound defensive tackle had as many as 17 drinks that night of the crash.
Although Brown's mother, Stacey Jackson, has been very public in stating that she had already forgiven Brent for his role in her son's death, the State of Texas may not be so forgiving. The Dallas County District Attorney, Craig Watkins, has indicated that his office intends to seek some form of confinement for the former football player. According to state law the sentence could range anywhere from two to twenty years, although the court also has the option of granting probation, which would include Community Service conditions and other prohibitions as the court may see fit.
Range of Punishment
Penitentiary: Confinement in the Texas Department of Corrections (TDC) for not less than 2 years to 20 years.
Fine: A fine not to exceed $10,000.
Common Probation Conditions
Jail Time: If probation is granted, you must serve a minimum of 120 days in jail as a condition of the probation.
Community Service: Texas law mandates that you perform a minimum of 200 hours, not more than 800 hours of community service if granted probation.
In addition to these terms, the state also mandates a set list of conditions that must be met throughout the probation period. This will include restrictions on activities, prohibitions against alcohol and drug use, restrictions on travel, and the individual is required to maintain satisfactory employment.
For now, Josh Brent will remain incarcerated in the Dallas County Jail awaiting a sentencing date which has yet to be set.
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