Dallas Cowboys football player Josh Brent, charged with intoxication manslaughter for a car crash that killed teammate Jerry Brown, was allowed to remain free on bail after prosecutors said he failed to comply with bond terms.
At a hearing today, Dallas County Judge Robert Burns ordered additional sobriety monitoring of the defendant and admonished him for failing to be home at 3 a.m. so data from his existing alcohol monitor could be downloaded.
“You need to be home when you need to be home,” the judge told Brent, 25. He also ordered the defendant to undergo urinalysis immediately after the hearing.
The fatal accident happened Dec. 8 when the car, which was moving at a high rate of speed, flipped at least once after hitting a curb, according to police. Brent had a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle, the Dallas Morning News has reported.
Brent was indicted in December and faces as long as 20 years in prison if he’s found guilty. The defensive lineman’s trial is scheduled for Sept. 23.
Bail terms required him to post a $100,000 bond. He was forbidden from consuming alcohol and required to wear the ankle bracelet, which monitors his blood-alcohol level.
Dallas prosecutors in court papers filed yesterday said Brent missed two bond-supervision appointments, may have tampered with the electronic monitor and “repetitively” failed to download data from the device.
Larry Vanderwoude, chief executive officer of Recovery Healthcare Corp., the company that operates the monitor, testified today that Brent needed to be home at 3 a.m. and near his bedroom for the device to download daily results to a modem. He said Brent wasn’t home or near the device 22 times since the monitoring began in December.
According to Assistant Criminal District Attorney Gary McDonald, the additional sobriety monitor that the judge ordered added today is a portable device that measures alcohol on a person’s breath, captures the person’s image and sends the data to monitors. First Assistant District Attorney Heath Harris asked the judge today to add the second device and didn’t reiterate yesterday’s request that the bond be revoked.
Jeff Kelly, a county bond supervision officer, testified that Brent has been undergoing drug and alcohol treatment. He said Brent missed two appointments to meet him in late April and early May. He said Brent told him his driver had failed to pick him up. Brent doesn’t have a driver’s license, he testified.
Kelly said on cross-examination that Brent was getting more scrutiny than was typical.
“This is a little unusual,” he said.
Brent’s attorney George Milner told the judge today that his client is being “singled out” and said his bond conditions shouldn’t change.
Harris said he was satisfied with today’s decision. He also called the accusation that Brent was being treated too harshly “ridiculous.”
“This guy is a repeat alcohol offender who killed someone in our county,” he said. “We take that seriously.”
Brent was in his third season in the National Football League after playing at the University of Illinois. He started five games last season. Brown, who also attended Illinois, joined the Cowboys’ practice squad on Oct. 24. He had yet to appear on the active roster.
The case is State of Texas v. Brent, F12-35545, Criminal District Court, Dallas County, Texas (Dallas).
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