Jurors to Deliberate Josh Brent Sentence a Second Day

By Ken Kalthoff
|  Thursday, Jan 23, 2014  |  Updated 6:10 PM CDT
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Both the prosecution and defense rested in the punishment phase of the intoxication manslaughter trial Thursday. Jurors will continue deliberations on Friday.

Ken Kalthoff, NBC 5 News

Both the prosecution and defense rested in the punishment phase of the intoxication manslaughter trial Thursday. Jurors will continue deliberations on Friday.

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The jury considering the fate of former Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent will take a second day to deliberate his sentence.

Both the prosecution and defense rested in the punishment phase of the intoxication manslaughter trial Thursday.

Defense lawyers for the one-time defensive tackle are pushing for probation while prosecutors are hoping for prison time.

The jury can choose either with a maximum sentence of up to 20 years.

The same jury deliberating Brent's fate convicted him a day before on the 7th day of his trial for the Dec., 2012, death of teammate Jerry Brown Jr.

State witnesses on Thursday detailed Brent's past brushes with the law to support prosecutors' request for a long prison sentence. Defense witnesses helped support a request for probation. Meanwhile, Stacey Jackson, the mother of Brown, said she's forgiven Brent for her son's death.

Illinois State Trooper Monica Strandberg said she stopped Brent in Feb., 2009, for speeding and then arrested him for driving under the influence in Urbana, Ill., where Brent attended the University of Illinois and played college football.

Strandberg said Brent's Illinois driver's license was suspended at the time after failing to appear in court for a prior speeding citation.

Brent received probation for the Illinois DWI and Strandberg said one of the requirements was attending classes on the dangers of drunken driving.

After Brent was charged with the Dallas County intoxication manslaughter case, while free on bond, Dallas County Jail Diversion Manager Leah Gamble testified that Brent failed drug tests for marijuana.

Brent served Dallas County Jail time from June 27 to July 7, 2013, because of the failed drug tests.

Blood testing expert John Martin testified that Brent's marijuana test results could not have been the result of secondhand smoke.

Irving Police Officer James Fairbairn testified that Brent had no valid driver's license and no insurance at the time of the crash that killed Brown.

Citations for no license and no insurance are still pending in Irving Municipal Court, Fairbairn said.

Brent's uncle, Roland Brent, said that Josh is like a teddy bear, somewhat immature and childlike for his 25 years of age. The uncle said Brent's upbringing was chaotic and difficult. He said Brent has been working in a warehouse stacking boxes while awaiting this trial.

Carla Suber, a University of Illinois employee who helps athletes with academic issues, said she first met Brent when he was recruited for the Illinois team. She met him at the Urbana jail after his Illinois DWI and said she never expect that of him.

Pastor David Ferrell, of Trinity Valley Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas, said he has ministered to Brent since the fatal crash. Ferrell, Suber and Brent's uncle all said they believe Brent is very remorseful for the death.

The Dallas County Director of Community Supervision, Dr. Michael Noyes, said 34 other intoxication manslaughter convicts are currently on probation in Dallas County.

More defense witnesses are expected this afternoon. Each side in the case will get to make closing arguments before the jury deliberates on a sentence.

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