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In a shocking development, the jury sentenced Josh Brent to probation today for causing the a crash that killed his teammate and best friend Jerry Brown Jr in December 2012.
In addition to a 10-year suspended sentence, Brent also faces 180 days in jail and was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine. He could have been sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.
After reading the sentence, state Judge Robert Burns said to Brent, “You are not the first Dallas Cowboy to kill someone with a vehicle,” the judge said, “but I hope you’re the last.”
The same jury earlier this week convicted Brent of intoxication manslaughter for driving drunk and causing the high-speed rollover crash.
Brent had a blood alcohol level of 0.18, more than twice the legal limit to drive, and was driving at least 110 mph on an Irving service road when he flipped his white Mercedes. Neither man wore a seat belt and the momentum if the crash threw Brown on top of Brent and cushioned Brent from serious injury.
This is the second high profile DWI crash in North Texas recently that resulted in probation with little or no jail time. Ethan Couch received 10 years probation and no prison time for causing the tragic Burleson crash that killed 4 and severely injured two others.
The Dallas Morning News called the Brent sentencing “inexplicable,” said that it was set up by the Couch sentencing last month, and concluded its angry editorial today with this message:
Is this really the guy you want closing fast in your rear-view mirror?
Josh Brent has made it clear that he will drink as much as he can afford, smoke as much as he can inhale and break as many laws as possible — to drive perilously fast through the night.
And 12 Dallas County jurors who had a chance to protect the rest of us instead made it clear that he’s fine by them. Heaven help us.