Mother of ex-Cowboy’s victim stands behind him

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LaTasha Brent, center, the mother of former Dallas Cowboys NFL football player Josh Brent, walks to an elevator with a member her son’s defense team after he was found guilty of intoxication manslaughter Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in Dallas, for a fiery wreck that killed his teammate and close friend, Jerry Brown. He faces up to 20 years in prison for a December 2012 wreck after a night of partying with fellow Cowboys players. He could also get probation. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Nathan Hunsinger) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET USE BY AP MEMBERS ONLY; NO SALES

LaTasha Brent, center, the mother of former Dallas Cowboys NFL football player Josh Brent, walks to an elevator with a member her son’s defense team after he was found guilty of intoxication manslaughter Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in Dallas, for a fiery wreck that killed his teammate and close friend, Jerry Brown. He faces up to 20 years in prison for a December 2012 wreck after a night of partying with fellow Cowboys players. He could also get probation. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Nathan Hunsinger) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET USE BY AP MEMBERS ONLY; NO SALES

Former Dallas Cowboys NFL football player Josh Brent is put in handcuffs after he was found guilty of intoxication manslaughter Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in Dallas, for a fiery wreck that killed his teammate and close friend, Jerry Brown. He faces up to 20 years in prison for a December 2012 wreck after a night of partying with fellow Cowboys players. He could also get probation. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Nathan Hunsinger) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET USE BY AP MEMBERS ONLY; NO SALES

LaTasha Brent, center, the mother of former Dallas Cowboys NFL football player Josh Brent, walks from court after Brent was found guilty of intoxication manslaughter Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in Dallas, for a fiery wreck that killed his teammate and close friend, Jerry Brown. Brent faces up to 20 years in prison for the December 2012 wreck after a night of partying with fellow Cowboys players. He could also get probation. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

A faint reflection of former Dallas Cowboys Josh Brent is seen on glass as he looks out of a window in the hallway of the courthouse in Dallas, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, as the jury is deliberates his intoxication manslaughter charge. Prosecutors accuse the former defensive tackle of drunkenly crashing his Mercedes near Dallas during a night out in December 2012, killing his good friend and teammate, Jerry Brown. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Former Dallas Cowboys NFL football player Josh Brent looks on court after he was found guilty of intoxication manslaughter Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 in Dallas, for a fiery wreck that killed his teammate and close friend, Jerry Brown. He faces up to 20 years in prison for a December 2012 wreck after a night of partying with fellow Cowboys players. He could also get probation. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Nathan Hunsinger) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET USE BY AP MEMBERS ONLY; NO SALES

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DALLAS (AP) — As former Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent was convicted of intoxication manslaughter and confronted with the possibility of spending up to 20 years in prison, the mother of the man he killed sat two rows behind him.

Stacey Jackson has said she’s forgiven Brent. And when sentencing starts Thursday, Jackson could be one of several witnesses Brent’s attorneys could call to argue for leniency. They have previously asked for probation.

Brent and Jerry Brown were close friends, having played football together at the University of Illinois. Brown had joined the Cowboys as a practice squad player about two months before Brent drunkenly drove home from a night of partying in December 2012 and wrecked on a suburban Dallas highway.

Jurors took about nine hours over two days to convict Brent, who was led from the courtroom Wednesday in handcuffs as family members in the front row sobbed.

Jackson sat behind them and showed no visible reaction. She walked out of the courtroom with Brown’s family, ignoring a reporter’s questions. But she told The Dallas Morning News last month she is no longer angry at Brent and has maintained a relationship with him since the wreck.

“If being mad at Josh would bring Jerry back, I would be the No. 1 person. I would be mad as hell at him,” Jackson told the newspaper, adding doing that “takes too much time and too much energy.”

Prosecutors say the burly, 320-pound defensive tackle’s blood-alcohol level after the wreck was 0.18 percent, more than twice the legal limit. Authorities say it would have taken as many as 17 drinks for Brown to get that drunk.

Brent’s attorneys argued at trial that the blood tests were faulty and that Brent could not have drank nearly that much. Attorney George Milner said his client was “guilty of being stupid behind the wheel of a car,” not drinking beforehand.

Authorities say Brent was driving his Mercedes as fast as 110 mph.

Milner has said that no one besides Jackson may have suffered from the aftermath as much as Brent, who lost his close friend and his career.

Brent played in all 12 games of the 2012 NFL season before the crash, but retired in July.

His ties to the Cowboys were prominent at trial. Two current players, Barry Church and Danny McCray, testified about hanging out with Brent and Brown, first playing video games, then having dinner and going to Privae, a Dallas nightclub.

Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee attended part of the trial to show support for Brent, and team owner Jerry Jones said this week that he was closely watching for a verdict.

“Certainly it’s tragic. We’ve all, to some degree, have been a part of this,” Jones said Tuesday, according to the Cowboys’ website. “We support Josh. This has

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Mother of ex-Cowboy’s victim stands behind him

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LaTasha Brent, center, the mother of former Dallas Cowboys NFL football player Josh Brent, walks to an elevator with a member her son’s defense team after he was found guilty of intoxication manslaughter Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in Dallas, for a fiery wreck that killed his teammate and close friend, Jerry Brown. He faces up to 20 years in prison for a December 2012 wreck after a night of partying with fellow Cowboys players. He could also get probation. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Nathan Hunsinger) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET USE BY AP MEMBERS ONLY; NO SALES

LaTasha Brent, center, the mother of former Dallas Cowboys NFL football player Josh Brent, walks to an elevator with a member her son’s defense team after he was found guilty of intoxication manslaughter Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in Dallas, for a fiery wreck that killed his teammate and close friend, Jerry Brown. He faces up to 20 years in prison for a December 2012 wreck after a night of partying with fellow Cowboys players. He could also get probation. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Nathan Hunsinger) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET USE BY AP MEMBERS ONLY; NO SALES

Former Dallas Cowboys NFL football player Josh Brent is put in handcuffs after he was found guilty of intoxication manslaughter Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in Dallas, for a fiery wreck that killed his teammate and close friend, Jerry Brown. He faces up to 20 years in prison for a December 2012 wreck after a night of partying with fellow Cowboys players. He could also get probation. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Nathan Hunsinger) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET USE BY AP MEMBERS ONLY; NO SALES

LaTasha Brent, center, the mother of former Dallas Cowboys NFL football player Josh Brent, walks from court after Brent was found guilty of intoxication manslaughter Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in Dallas, for a fiery wreck that killed his teammate and close friend, Jerry Brown. Brent faces up to 20 years in prison for the December 2012 wreck after a night of partying with fellow Cowboys players. He could also get probation. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

A faint reflection of former Dallas Cowboys Josh Brent is seen on glass as he looks out of a window in the hallway of the courthouse in Dallas, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, as the jury is deliberates his intoxication manslaughter charge. Prosecutors accuse the former defensive tackle of drunkenly crashing his Mercedes near Dallas during a night out in December 2012, killing his good friend and teammate, Jerry Brown. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Former Dallas Cowboys NFL football player Josh Brent looks on court after he was found guilty of intoxication manslaughter Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 in Dallas, for a fiery wreck that killed his teammate and close friend, Jerry Brown. He faces up to 20 years in prison for a December 2012 wreck after a night of partying with fellow Cowboys players. He could also get probation. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Nathan Hunsinger) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET USE BY AP MEMBERS ONLY; NO SALES

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DALLAS (AP) — As former Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent was convicted of intoxication manslaughter and confronted with the possibility of spending up to 20 years in prison, the mother of the man he killed sat two rows behind him.

Stacey Jackson has said she’s forgiven Brent. And when sentencing starts Thursday, Jackson could be one of several witnesses Brent’s attorneys could call to argue for leniency. They have previously asked for probation.

Brent and Jerry Brown were close friends, having played football together at the University of Illinois. Brown had joined the Cowboys as a practice squad player about two months before Brent drunkenly drove home from a night of partying in December 2012 and wrecked on a suburban Dallas highway.

Jurors took about nine hours over two days to convict Brent, who was led from the courtroom Wednesday in handcuffs as family members in the front row sobbed.

Jackson sat behind them and showed no visible reaction. She walked out of the courtroom with Brown’s family, ignoring a reporter’s questions. But she told The Dallas Morning News last month she is no longer angry at Brent and has maintained a relationship with him since the wreck.

“If being mad at Josh would bring Jerry back, I would be the No. 1 person. I would be mad as hell at him,” Jackson told the newspaper, adding doing that “takes too much time and too much energy.”

Prosecutors say the burly, 320-pound defensive tackle’s blood-alcohol level after the wreck was 0.18 percent, more than twice the legal limit. Authorities say it would have taken as many as 17 drinks for Brown to get that drunk.

Brent’s attorneys argued at trial that the blood tests were faulty and that Brent could not have drank nearly that much. Attorney George Milner said his client was “guilty of being stupid behind the wheel of a car,” not drinking beforehand.

Authorities say Brent was driving his Mercedes as fast as 110 mph.

Milner has said that no one besides Jackson may have suffered from the aftermath as much as Brent, who lost his close friend and his career.

Brent played in all 12 games of the 2012 NFL season before the crash, but retired in July.

His ties to the Cowboys were prominent at trial. Two current players, Barry Church and Danny McCray, testified about hanging out with Brent and Brown, first playing video games, then having dinner and going to Privae, a Dallas nightclub.

Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee attended part of the trial to show support for Brent, and team owner Jerry Jones said this week that he was closely watching for a verdict.

“Certainly it’s tragic. We’ve all, to some degree, have been a part of this,” Jones said Tuesday, according to the Cowboys’ website. “We support Josh. This has

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