IRVING, Texas (AP) — Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent says he’s “just trying to deal” with the death of his teammate and “very best friend” Jerry Brown.
Brent, a former Illini who was recruited out of Bloomington Central Catholic, is charged with intoxication manslaughter in the accident that killed Brown.
The two were teammates at Illinois.
About an hour after the grieving Cowboys secured an emotional 20-19 victory against the Bengals on the final play, a barefooted Brent walked slowly out of the jail in the Dallas suburb of Irving after his release on $500,000 bond. Surrounded by camera crews and reporters, Brent had several patches of missing hair and a bandage wrapped about his right hand.
“Jerry Brown was my very best friend, and I’m just trying to deal with his death right now,” Brent said, stopping briefly when asked if he had anything to say to Brown’s family. He didn’t answer any other questions.
Brent, a 6-foot-5, 320-pound nose guard, was arrested at the scene of the accident Saturday on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, a charge upped to intoxication manslaughter after the 25-year-old Brown died.
Attorney George Milner complained that Brent’s bond was set “16 times higher than it would have been for anybody that doesn’t play for the Dallas Cowboys.”
“He is torn up,” Milner said. “It’s not a good moment for anyone. I’m going to take him home. He needs family around him.”
Brent pleaded guilty to a driving-under-the-influence charge while a player at Illinois in 2009. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail and two years of probation, among other sanctions, court records show.
According to a probable-cause affidavit released Sunday by Irving police, officers said they detected “a moderate odor of alcohol” from Brent’s breath and that he “admitted to consuming alcohol at a club,” but wouldn’t identify which one. Police said Brent gave a blood sample at the hospital on Saturday.
The 25-year-old Brown was a member of the Cowboys’ practice squad and living with Brent while he pursued his dream of playing in the NFL.