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Ex-Cowboys player sentenced for fatal drunk driving accident

Ex-Cowboys football player Josh Brent has been sentenced to a six-month jail term in connection with the death of his teammate. Brent was convicted of intoxication manslaughter in connection with a drunk driving accident in December 2012.

The 25-year-old defendant could have spent up to 20 years in prison in connection with the wreck, which occurred when he lost control of his vehicle and flipped the car. The man's teammate Jerry Brown died in the wreck. Authorities say the man's blood alcohol content was twice the legal amount in the state of Texas. They estimate that the driver had about 17 drinks on the night of the wreck.

Further, Brent did not have a valid driver's license at the time of the 100 mph crash. He reportedly was previously arrested for drunk driving in Illinois in 2009, and he lost his license in 2007 for failing to appear in court for a speeding ticket. In addition to the six-month jail term, the man will also be subject to 10 years of supervised release. He could be sent back to jail for 10 years if he violates the terms of his release.

Even though this sentence might seem light based on the offense, it is not just a slap on the wrist; the man is now a convicted felon, which will have implications for his employment and future living situations.

It is not clear whether Brent intends to continue his professional football career after serving the sentence. The player is currently working in the Cowboys' merchandise warehouse.

Passengers in others' vehicles should not have to worry about their personal safety when their friend gets behind the wheel. Even though this driver is not spending a significant amount of time in jail, he could be subject to civil penalties for his role in the crash. A Texas personal injury attorney may help surviving relatives of such victims learn more about their legal rights and responsibilities after such a wrongful death.

Source: Businessweek, "Cowboys’ Brent Gets Six Months in Jail in Teammate’s Crash Death" Tom Korosec & Andrew Harris, Jan. 25, 2014

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