DALLAS – Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent was driving with a suspended license and had a blood-alcohol content more than twice the legal limit at the time of the car crash that killed teammate and friend Jerry Brown, according to documents released by police Thursday.
The 24-year-old Brent was tested after the crash in the early hours of Dec. 8 at 0.189 per cent, well above the Texas limit of 0.08. One police report said Brent was intoxicated, driving over the speed limit and swerving out of one lane when he struck a curb in Irving, a suburb of Dallas, causing the car to flip over.
The crash report also says Brent was driving with an expired and suspended driver’s license obtained in Illinois, where he pleaded guilty three years ago to driving under the influence, a misdemeanour.
Brown was pronounced dead at a Dallas hospital. Brent was arrested and indicted Wednesday on one count of intoxication manslaughter. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted, though he could also receive probation. Brent is free on $100,000 bond and required to wear an alcohol monitor. His attorney, George Milner, did not return a phone message left Thursday morning.
Authorities say they also found an unopened bottle of Cognac liquor in searching Brent’s Mercedes sedan, along with “multiple receipts” and his iPad and cellphone. Brent and Brown reportedly spent at least part of Friday night at the club Privae Dallas. The iPad and cellphone found in the Mercedes have information “from the events prior to and during the crash that will aid this investigation,” other warrants said.
The 25-year-old Brown was on the Cowboys practice squad and played with Brent at the University of Illinois. The two men have been described as close friends. Brent has been placed on the NFL reserve/non-football illness list and won’t play again this season.
No court dates in his case have been scheduled.
Heath Harris, the first assistant Dallas County district attorney, said prosecutors hoped to turn over evidence to Milner as soon as possible. He said he wanted to have the case tried “as quickly as possible.”
“It has the potential to send a strong message about how we feel about our intoxication laws,” Harris said.