NFL notes: Ex-Cowboy convicted of intoxication manslaughter
Former Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent was convicted of intoxication manslaughter Wednesday 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. Jurors took about nine hours over two days to convict Brent, who was led from the courtroom in handcuffs as family members sitting in the front row of the gallery sobbed.
Among those sitting with Brent's family was Stacey Jackson, Brown's mother. Jackson did not respond to questions as she left the courtroom Wednesday with Brent's family, but she has said in interviews that she's forgiven Brent and could testify in support of a lighter sentence for him when that phase of the trial begins Thursday.
Attorneys from both sides remain under a gag order that prevented them from commenting after the proceedings.
Prosecutors say Brent, a defensive tackle, was drunk when he crashed his Mercedes on a suburban Dallas highway in December 2012, killing Brown, a linebacker on the Cowboys practice squad who was Brent's teammate at the University of Illinois.
Officers who arrived on scene saw Brent trying to pull Brown's body from the wreckage. Police say Brent's blood alcohol level was tested shortly after the crash at 0.18 percent, more than twice the legal limit for drivers in Texas.
Prosecutors last week argued that defensive tackle had as many as 17 drinks that night of the crash.
Around the league
Browns • Team officials interviewed Buffalo defensive coordinator Mike Pettine for the second time on Tuesday night in Mobile, Ala., and although the sides did not reach a deal during their four-hour meeting, the 47-year-old has emerged as the front-runner to become Cleveland's seventh full-time coach.
Falcons • Atlanta hired Scott Pioli as assistant general manager, reuniting him with GM Thomas Dimitroff. Pioli was director of player personnel for the New England Patriots from 2000-08, including six seasons with Dimitroff, who directed college scouting.
Patriots • Dante Scarnecchia is retiring after spending 30 of the past 32 seasons as an assistant coach with New England. The 65-year-old Scarnecchia has been their offensive line coach since 1999 and also has served as assistant head coach since Bill Belichick became coach in 2000.