Day Two of Testimony Underway in Civil Trial in Drunk Driving Death of Cowboys Practice Squad Player, Family Suing Bar for Alleged Over-serving

Jerry Brown died in a drunk driving crash in December 2012

Nearly six years after his death, the family of Dallas Cowboys practice squad player Jerry Brown is back in court.

They're suing the owner of Beamers, a now defunct Dallas bar on Walnut Hill Lane where Brown and his best friend Josh Brent were drinking the night Brown died. The family's lawsuit claims the staff over-served Brent.

Brent, a former Cowboys defensive tackle, was convicted and sentenced to 10 years probation in a 2014 criminal trial.

Now, Brent is also a defendant in this civil case.

"He has been notified of this trial. At this point in time he has chosen not to appear," Judge Gina Slaughter told the jury.

Brent and Brown got into Brent's Mercedes once they left the bar in December 2012. Minutes later, the car was on its roof and burning along a freeway service road in Irving. 

Brown was rushed to the hospital where he died.

Police said Brent had a BAC of .189 -- more than two times the legal limit.

During opening statements Wednesday, attorneys for Brown's family noted that Brent initially refused to tell police where he had been drinking that night, saying "somebody is going to get into trouble."

Attorney Brent Walker said a forensic toxicologist will testify that Brent would have had to consume at least 14 drinks to reach such a high blood alcohol reading.

"Never once did anyone at Beamers ever regulate Josh Brent or tell him to stop drinking," Walker said.

Walker accused bar staff of violating their own guidelines by allowing Brent to pour his own drinks in a VIP lounge.

In Texas, businesses that sell and/or serve alcohol can be held liable for any personal injury or property damage that occurs if it's proven they served an "obviously intoxicated" person.

"Send a message to every bar in this city, that if you allow the conduct that I heard about in this courtroom to happen in your bar, it will cost you," Walker told the jury.

Attorneys for Beamers said this a "story about conscious, deliberate choices" that were made by adults -- and though the outcome was tragic, the blame rests on Brent and Brown.

The defense said jurors will hear from two waitresses who served Brent and Brown that night -- and that neither of them noticed any obvious signs of intoxication.

Defense attorney Spencer Markle also noted Brent began to drink earlier in the night at a different restaurant.

"He made the conscious intentional decision to drive and drink," Markle said.

Later at the nightclub Markle said about a dozen other people were with Brent and Brown, consuming some of the alcohol that was purchased. Markle said Brown never asked to take another way home and that Brent was responsible for what happened.

"He chose to put his foot on the accelerator so hard that he drove 110 miles an hour before he lost control and caused this accident," Markle said.

Brown's family is seeking unspecified damages from Beamers.

The trial is expected to last two weeks.

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