State: Bar that served Brent may have violations
DALLAS (AP) -- The Dallas nightclub where former Cowboys player Josh Brent last stopped before being involved in a fatal crash that killed a teammate may have over-served patrons that night, state liquor authorities said Friday.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission said its investigators found "sufficient evidence" that Beamers Private Club in Dallas sold alcohol to an already intoxicated person either late Dec. 7 or early Dec. 8 and conducted "practices that promote excessive consumption by patrons."
Brent is charged with intoxication manslaughter in the Dec. 8 crash that killed Jerry Brown, a practice squad player and Brent's college teammate. He is scheduled for trial next month and faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted, though he could also get probation.
TABC did not name Brent, but acknowledged that it wouldn't continue its case against Beamers until Brent's criminal case ends. The agency declined to release its full report.
Lt. John Graham of TABC said investigators think Beamers Private was Brent's last stop before the crash in the Dallas suburb of Irving. TABC did not interview Brent, but spoke to others who were at the bar that night, Graham said.
Beamers Private could lose its liquor license as a result of the investigation, Graham said.
The nightclub defended its staff. A statement issued by Private Dallas, a private club inside Beamers where authorities say Brent and Brown spent part of the fatal night, said the club staff "sell and serve responsibly." Joe Beamer, the club's human resources manager, said workers were certified by TABC and underwent additional in-house training.
Brent retired from the Cowboys last month after his career was placed on hold.
"I am at a point where my main focus is all about getting the priorities in my life in order," Brent said in a statement provided by the team last month. "Those priorities are more important than football. Doing the right things in life are more important than football. I love the game very much. I love my teammates, but this is the right thing for me to do."
Irving police have accused Brent of driving with a blood-alcohol content more than twice the legal limit the night of the crash. His attorney, George Milner, has filed a motion to have the blood test performed on Brent thrown out. A judge has not yet ruled on that request.