Former Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent took the stand Monday in the ongoing civil trial related to his 2012 drunken driving crash that killed his best friend and then-teammate Jerry Brown.
Brown's family is suing a now defunct Dallas nightclub called Beamers and its management company, claiming the staff there overserved Brent the night of the crash.
Under Texas law, a business that sells and/or serves alcohol can be held liable for any personal injury or property damage caused by a drunken customer, if it's proven they provided alcohol to an "obviously intoxicated" person.
While on the stand Monday, Brent was quiet and reserved and many of his answers were short and to the point. He did elaborate and get emotional, however, when he was asked about his decision to stop playing football.
"That's a special place for me. I shared it with a lot of men that I call my brothers. They received a lot of flak just trying to protect me so I felt it was best to remove myself from the team, not be a distraction. There were people that hated the organization because of me. I thought it was best to remove myself completely," Brent said.
Much of the testimony on Monday focused on how many drinks Brent consumed and where he had them. He testified that he went out with other teammates to another restaurant before going to Beamers. He testified he drank two shots and two cognacs at dinner before picking up Brown from the apartment they shared and heading to Beamers. At Beamers, Brent testified he had one or two glasses of champagne and more cognac.
"I strongly believe that when bars are negligent and they do serve obviously intoxicated people they should be punished, but this isn't the case," said Carlos Cortez, attorney for the bar's management company. "The uncontroverted testimony is that he was not served when he was obviously intoxicated."
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Lawyers for the defense insisted Brent did not appear drunk when he entered and later left Beamers the night of the crash and that Brent is soley responsible for Brown's death.
"On the way home, you made the decision to drive 110 miles an hour isn't that true?" asked one of the defense attorney's.
"Yes," answered Brent from the stand.
"Then you hit a dip in the road and lost control?"
"Yes," responded Brent.
Brent served 180 days in jail and is currently serving 10 years probation for the crash. Brown's family, meanwhile, has forgiven him for the crash.
For the last three years Brent has worked for the Dallas Cowboys as an intern in the scouting department. During his testimony Monday, Brent said he is starting at the ground level working his way up and hopes to have a long career as either a scout or a coach.
Brown's family is seeking unspecified damages from Beamers. Brent is also listed as a defendant in the case.
The trial continues on Tuesday.