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Reported by April Taylor
Former Dallas Cowboys tackle Josh Brent was released from Jail on Sunday. Brent was serving a 180 day sentence for a conviction for intoxication manslaughter that stemmed from a December 2012 crash that killed his friend and teammate Jerry Brown.
The two were returning from Privae, a Dallas nightclub, when Brent crashed his Mercedes sedan. Sobriety tests revealed that Brent had a blood alcohol level that was more than twice the legal limit.
Prosecutors in the case wanted Brent to receive a harsh sentence for the crime, hoping to send a message about drunk driving, but Brown’s mother, Stacey Jackson, asked for clemency, stating she had forgiven Brent. Brent had previously served 30 days in jail for a misdemeanor charge related to a 2009 drunk driving charge in Illinois.
The prosecutors’ approach in this case deviates drastically from the case of Texas teen, Ethan Couch, who received only probation for being convicted of intoxication manslaughter for his role in a wreck that killed four people. Couch’s attorneys used the now infamous “affluenza” defense stating that Couch’s privileged background contributed to his reckless and irresponsible behavior. Unlike prosecutors in Couch’s case, Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins stated at one point during the trial that it was his job to make sure Brent lost his freedom.
Brent and Brown were long-time friends who played together in college for the University of Illinois. The two were also roommates during their time on the Dallas Cowboys roster.
Authorities have not stated whether or not Brent will be required to report to a rehab facility to complete the remainder of his sentence, which was not supposed to end until July. Brent will remain on probation for 10 years.
Brent retired from the NFL prior to his trial, but it is possible for him to be reinstated as a player if the NFL does not move to suspend him for the incident.