A player with the Dallas Cowboys football team has been charged with intoxicated manslaughter following an early-Saturday morning vehicle crash that killed a teammate.
According to an Associated Press report, Jerry Brown died in the vehicle accident. Brown was assigned to Dallas’ practice squad. He was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Josh Brent, a lineman who was on the Cowboys regular roster this season. Brown was pronounced dead at a local hospital near Irving, Texas, on Saturday morning after he was found unresponsive at the scene of the accident. The vehicle the men were travelling in had flipped over after it hit a curb.
Dallas continued its scheduled game on Sunday when it flew to Ohio to play the Cincinnati Bengals, a game which the Cowboys won on a last-second field goal, ending an emotional week for the team.
Officers responding to the scene of the accident conducted a field sobriety test on Brent at the crash and led him away in handcuffs after he had failed the test. The DUI charges against Brent were added to with a charge of intoxicated manslaughter once his teammate was pronounced dead. Brent is facing more than 20 years in prison if he’s ultimately found guilty on the charges. Brown may not yet have an attorney, either. He was being held without bond on Sunday, according to AP’s report.
Brent apparently missed his booking because he was still intoxicated for the scheduled hearing at 10 a.m. on Saturday. By that time, the team was on board its plane for Cincinnati for the game. That’s when iconic team owner Jerry Jones issued the following statement to the public regarding the incident, reserving comment on his jailed player and focusing solely on the loss of life.
“We are deeply saddened by the news of this accident and the passing of Jerry Brown. At this time, our hearts and prayers and deepest sympathies are with the members of Jerry’s family and all of those who knew him and loved him,” Jones said.
For Brown, who had played in all of Dallas’ 12 games before Sunday, this is not the first time he’s had a scrape with the law, though it appears it will be his last for some time. In 2009, while playing football at University of Illinois, Brown was charged with DUI and driving with a suspended license and speeding. He spent 60 days in jail and two years on probation, completing his sentence in the summer of 2011.
For the National Football League, this is the second tragedy in one week, both involving the deaths of players. Late last week, Kansas City Chiefs defensive player Javon Belcher killed his girlfriend and then drove to the team’s training facility, where he took his own life with a gunshot to the head in front of the team’s head coach and general manager.