Jury selection begins in Josh Brent's intoxication manslaughter - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Jury selection begins in Josh Brent's intoxication manslaughter trial

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DALLAS -

Jury selection began Thursday in the trial of former Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent.

Brent, 25, is accused of driving drunk in December 2012, when he crashed his SUV in Irving, killing teammate Jerry Brown. Police said his blood-alcohol level at the time was more than twice the legal limit.

The pool of potential jurors for the case was double the size of the normal 60 and both sides said they felt they could seat a jury.

But before lunch, 23 people were excused because they said they had an opinion of guilt or innocence that could not be changed. Also, 17 potential jurors were exempt for various reasons, and three were excused for medical reasons.

Now, 80 potential jurors remain.

Brent has pleaded not guilty to charges that include intoxication manslaughter. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

The trial is expected to last about two weeks.

"With the publicity that this case has gotten, just like we would do in any other case with this type of publicity, we call down as many people as possible to ensure that we get a jury pool that we can find 12 fair and impartial people to render a decision," said first assistant district attorney Heath Harris.

Friday, both prosecutors and defense attorneys get to question and strike potential jurors. By the end of the day, they should agree on 12 people to serve as fair and impartial jurors.

"Unless somebody's living under a rock, we're not gonna find somebody that has not heard anything about this case," said George Milner, Brent's defense attorney. "By hearing about it, everybody's got some kind of opinion. The question is, can you just walk into the courtroom, kind of clean the slate a little bit, if you will, and listen to the evidence?"

If Brent is convicted and sentenced to 10 years or less, he would then be eligible for probation. For his defense team, that would be the best possible outcome.

Friday, both prosecutors and defense attorneys get to question and strike potential jurors. By the end of the day, they should agree on 12 people to serve as fair and impartial jurors.

Testimony begins Monday and is expected to last two weeks. 

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