Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent will remain free while he awaits trial for intoxication manslaughter, as a judge Friday denied a request by prosecutors to revoke his bond due to problems with alcohol monitoring.
Brent is charged in the fatal car crash Dec. 8 that killed Jerry Brown, a Cowboys practice squad player, and college teammate and friend of Brent. Police have accused Brent of driving with a blood-alcohol content more than twice the legal limit.
As a condition of his $100,000 bond, Brent is required to wear an alcohol ankle monitor and appear for regular meetings with a county officer. Witnesses at Friday's hearing said he had repeatedly missed required times for his ankle monitor to download information, as well as two appointments with the officer.
Dallas County assistant district attorney Heath Harris said Brent had 22 violations in six months and was not reporting information in an attempt to "manipulate data." Prosecutors had filed a motion Thursday asking for his bond to be revoked.
"We expect for our repeat alcohol offenders to have strict compliance with their bond requirements. One of the problems we had was he was supposed to register data with us and didn't. And that was the real problem. He refuses to comply with the rules," Harris told NFL.com. "Clearly, alcohol was present but we couldn't prove if he did drink or didn't."
Brent's ankle monitor was set off by alcohol four times in February and March, but both sides agreed Friday that those instances were most likely caused by the presence of alcohol in the air or near Brent. His attorneys said they didn't know how the alcohol positives occurred, but suggested in court that they could have been triggered by things as benign as mouthwash or hand sanitizer.
Judge Robert Burns ordered Brent to carry a SoberLink device, which wirelessly transmits BAC, GPS location and a photograph of the person blowing into device. Brent will still have to wear a SCRAM bracelet and transmit data from it daily, and provide a urine sample. Burns said he would not increase Brent's bond amount.
Brent sat silently throughout the nearly hour-long hearing, though at times he tapped one of his attorneys, George Milner, on the shoulder and whispered in his ear. He did not testify and declined to answer questions outside court.
Milner accused prosecutors of making a show of otherwise ordinary issues, many of which are from earlier this year, due to Brent's notoriety as a Cowboys player. His career is on hold pending the outcome of this case.
"I think we've unequivocally established the fact that the district attorney's office is treating Mr. Brent differently because of the helmet that he wears," Milner told reporters outside court. "There's no disputing that now. Everybody down here knew it. Now it's out in un-contradicted, sworn testimony."
Harris denied the charge.
"Anytime we have an individual who had just gotten off probation for alcohol-related offenses and then Mr. Brown loses his life, we take that very seriously. And it has nothing with us trying to persecute Mr. Brent," Harris told NFL.com. "We would treat anyone else with the same record the same."
A report released by suburban Dallas police says Brent was driving the night of the crash with a suspended driver license from Illinois, where he pleaded guilty three years ago to a misdemeanor driving under the influence charge. Brent and Brown both played college football at the University of Illinois and were roommates in Dallas.
Brent faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of intoxicated manslaughter, though he could get probation. His trial is scheduled for September.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.