DALLAS – Josh Brent, a former defensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys, is back where he was before his intoxication manslaughter trial started: trying to avoid prison.
Brent, 25, was sentenced to 10 years’ probation Friday for his 2012 drunken-driving crash that killed his close friend and teammate, Jerry Brown Jr.
State District Judge Robert Burns ordered Brent to immediately spend 180 days in jail and, if he violates his probation at any point, he could wind up serving a 10-year prison term. Brent also was fined $10,000.
“Your actions bring shame to the city of Dallas,” Burns scolded Brent as he announced the sentence. “You’re not the first Dallas Cowboy to kill somebody with a motor vehicle. But I hope you’re the last.”
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Brent faced up to 20 years in prison. The same 10-woman, two-man jury that convicted him Wednesday of intoxication manslaughter gave Brent 10 years in prison but then recommended Burns suspend that sentence and give Brent probation.
The case once again put the Cowboys in the spotlight for players’ history of unsavory off-field activities, including the 2003 criminally negligent homicide conviction of Dwayne Goodrich for a hit-and-run crash.
Brent, who has retired from football, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.18 percent — more than twice the legal driving limit — and was going at least 110 mph in a 45 mph zone when he crashed his Mercedes.
Defense attorneys George Milner III and Kevin Brooks said they were “happy for Josh” but didn’t consider the sentence a victory.
“There’s no winners here,” Milner said. “Everybody’s a loser.”
Brown’s mother, who testified for the defense and said she had forgiven Brent, was not in the courtroom for the sentencing.
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