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Ex-Cowboy’s Intoxication Manslaughter Case Goes to the Jury

Jan. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Former Dallas Cowboys football player Josh Brent didn’t sound intoxicated immediately after the fatal 2012 crash that killed a teammate, his lawyer told a jury in closing arguments.

Brent is on trial in Dallas County state court for driving while drunk at speeds of more than 100 miles per hour when his car struck a curb and rolled over, killing Jerry Brown in December 2012. He denies wrongdoing in the intoxication manslaughter case.

Jurors began deliberations today after hearing closing arguments from prosecutors and defense lawyer George Milner, who said the state failed to prove its case during the week-long trial.

“This man is supposed to be hammered drunk,” Milner told the jury. “Go back to the 911 call and listen to Josh’s voice.”

Brent, in a calm voice, was able to tell the operator what happened and that they needed help immediately, Milner said.

“Why can’t we hear anything in his voice to say he is intoxicated?” Milner asked. “Why didn’t he slur the word ‘immediately’?”

Prosecutor Jason Hermus told jurors that tests showed twice the legal amount of alcohol in Brent’s bloodstream, indicating he had the equivalent of at least 17 drinks the night of the accident.

110 MPH

The former Cowboys defensive lineman was driving as fast as 110 miles per hour when he struck a curb, flipping his Mercedes and killing Brown, Hermus said.

The prosecutor said Brent failed a field sobriety test.

Videotape showed Brent drinking from a bottle at a club before the crash, another prosecutor, Heath Harris, told jurors.

“He was intoxicated,” Harris said.

Brent, who played college football at the University of Illinois, was in his third season in the National Football League when the crash occurred. Brown, who also attended Illinois, joined the Cowboys’ practice squad in 2012 and had yet to appear on the active roster.

Brent faces as long as 20 years in prison if convicted.

The case is State of Texas v. Joshua Price-Brent, Criminal District Court of Dallas County, Texas (Dallas).

To contact the reporters on this story: Andrew Harris in federal court in Chicago at aharris16@bloomberg.net; Tom Korosec in Dallas at tkorosec@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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