Former Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent was convicted of intoxicated manslaughter Wednesday for the car crash that killed his teammate and friend Jerry Brown, the Associated Press reports.
Brent could get up to 20 years in prison for the December 2012 fiery car crash, which occurred after a night of partying with fellow Cowboys, though probation is also a possibility. According to the AP, jurors deliberated for nine hours over two days before coming to their decision.
Prosecutors claimed that Brent was drunk the night he crashed his Mercedes on a Dallas highway, killing Brown, who was also Brent’s teammate at the University of Illinois. Officers reported that Brent was trying to pull Brown’s body from the crash when they arrived at the scene.
According to police reports, Brent’s blood alcohol level tested more than twice the legal limit at 0.18 percent, and the prosecution argued that he had consumed up to 17 drinks prior to the crash.
The defense insisted that it was impossible for their client to have drunk that much, arguing that the tests were faulty. Brent’s attorney said that his client was “guilty of being stupid behind the wheel of a car,” not drinking beforehand.
Brown’s mother, Stacey Jackson, who was in the courtroom for the conviction, has already stated that she has forgiven Brent and could testify for him to receive a lighter sentence when that part of the trial begins on Thursday. However, prosecutors fully intend to push for jail time for the former NFL player.
According to the AP, Brent retired from the league last year, but his ties with the Cowboys were obvious during the trial. Barry Church and Daddy McCray, both current players, testified about hanging out with the two men before the crash. Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee attended part of the trial in support of Brent, and owner Jerry Jones has stated that he is awaiting the verdict.
“Certainly it’s tragic. We’ve all, to some degree … been a part of this,” Jones said on Tuesday, according to a quote the AP cites from 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.”