Donte Stallworth pleads guilty to DUI manslaughter, gets 30 days in jail

Published on June 16, 2009 by     

d_stallworth_061619_wideCleveland Browns wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth began serving a 30-day jail sentence Tuesday for killing a pedestrian while driving drunk in Florida, a punishment made possible by his cooperation with investigators and the fervent wish by the victim’s family to put the matter behind them.

Stallworth, 28, also reached a confidential financial settlement with the family of 59-year-old Mario Reyes, a construction worker struck and killed early on March 14 by Stallworth, driving drunk in his black 2005 Bentley.

Stallworth had faced 15 years in prison for his DUI manslaughter conviction. After his release from jail, he must serve two years of house arrest and spend eight years on probation. The house arrest provisions will allow him to resume his football career, his attorney said.

David Cornwell, a Stallworth attorney handling the NFL situation, said he has kept top league officials apprised of the case.

“Whenever it is appropriate to do so, we are prepared to discuss the circumstances under which Donte’ will resume his career,” Cornwell said.

The Browns released a statement late Tuesday regarding Stallworth.

“The Browns are very conscious of the seriousness of the charges to which Donte’ Stallworth plead guilty to today,” the statement read. “We are continuing to evaluate the situation and will make the decisions that we believe are in the best interest of the Cleveland Browns.”

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league is reviewing the matter for possible disciplinary action. Stallworth could face suspension without pay for some games this year.

Leonard Little of the Rams pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter after he hit and killed a woman while driving drunk in 1998 and served an eight-game suspension, though the punishment was doled out when the league was a bit more lenient.

Another one of Stallworth’s attorneys, Christopher Lyons, said the financial settlement was only one factor in the plea agreement. He noted that Stallworth stopped immediately after the accident, called 911 and submitted to roadside alcohol testing despite spending most of the night drinking at a swanky Miami Beach hotel.

“He acted like a man,” Lyons said. “He remained at the scene. He cooperated fully.”

Stallworth told Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Dennis Murphy that he hopes to get involved in drunken driving education programs.

“I accept full responsibility for this horrible tragedy,” said Stallworth, who was accompanied at the hearing by his parents, siblings and other supporters. “I will bear this burden for the rest of my life.”

Stallworth also must undergo drug and alcohol testing, will have a lifetime driver’s license suspension and must perform 1,000 hours of community service. Lyons said after five years, Stallworth could win approval for limited driving such as for employment.

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle echoed Lyons in citing Stallworth’s lack of previous criminal record, cooperation and willingness to accept responsibility as factors in the plea deal. Rundle also said the Reyes family — particularly the victim’s 15-year-old daughter — wanted the case resolved to avoid any more pain.

“For all of these reasons, a just resolution of this case has been reached,” Rundle said.

None of the Reyes family attended the hearing. Their attorney, Rodolfo Suarez, read a statement saying the family wants to “bring closure to this emotional and tragic event.” Suarez did not respond to an email seeking comment.

After a night drinking at a bar in Miami Beach’s Fountainebleau hotel, police said Stallworth hit Reyes, a construction crane operator who was rushing to catch a bus after finishing his shift around 7:15 a.m. Stallworth told police he flashed his lights in an attempt to warn Reyes, who was not in a crosswalk when he was struck.

Stallworth had a blood-alcohol level of .126 after the crash, well above Florida’s .08 limit. Stallworth stopped after the crash and immediately told officers he had hit Reyes. Police estimated Stallworth was driving about 50 mph in a 40 mph zone.

Stallworth signed a seven-year, $35 million contract with the Browns before last season but was injured much of the year. The California native and University of Tennessee college star has also played in the NFL for New England, Philadelphia and New Orleans.

The night before the crash, Stallworth earned a $4.5 million roster bonus from the Browns.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fair Use Notice This website may at times present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available in an effort to advance understandings of democratic, economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. The author believes that this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U. S. Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the articles published on this website are distributed without profit for research and informational purposes. In most instances a link is placed to originator of Article and it is never expressly mentioned as written by, we use published by certain entities who write or publish for this said Blog..

Tell Us What's On Your Mind (0)




WP-SpamFree by Pole Position Marketing

REMEMBERING A LEGEND!

LATEST SEAHAWKS NEWS

Hroniss-Grasu

Three draft prospects who could fit Seahawks’ needs on offensive line

Donovan Smith was going through relatively rote answers to yet more questions at the NFL’s scouting combine in ...

Schneider knows what he’s looking for in new Seahawks

Given this is the sixth time John Schneider has sat with media for a casual pre-draft conversation, he’s ...
Tuesday Round Up  Bruce Irvin and Jimmy Graham squash their  beef  in Hawaii   Seattle Seahawks

Bruce Irvin and Jimmy Graham squash their “beef” in Hawaii

Irvin, Graham Squash The Beef Prior to the team taking off to Hawaii for player-organized offseason workouts this past ...
d51b7967cd7fce1bfa7a4df85436c60b_crop_north

Report: Michael Bennett wants trade to Atlanta, new contract

Maybe there’s a reason Greg Hardy’s taking a trip to Seattle. Apparently, one of their pass-rushers wants out, which ...
GrahamJohnDavidMercerUSAToday

Seahawks trading Center Max Unger for TE supreme Jimmy Graham

The Seahawks just made the biggest splash of the brand-new league year. New Orleans has agreed to send superstar ...
richard-sherman-reaction-to-malcolm-butler-interception

Another Season in the Books – By: Richard Sherman

POSTED BY: RICHARD SHERMAN 2014 was a wild but great year. It was a tremendous growing year for me ...
150306-lynch-660

Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks sign two-year extension

The Seattle Seahawks plan to keep Marshawn Lynch around for the long haul.The team announced Friday that Lynch ...
150306-miller-600

Zach Miller released by Seattle Seahawks

Veteran tight end Zach Miller is looking for a new job after four years in Seattle. The Seahawks announced ...

Shop for 2014 Seahawks Gameday Gear at NFLShop.com

Shop for 2014 Seahawks Gameday Gear at NFLShop.com

lat-noise-wre0011368363-20130915

WELCOME TO THE SEAHAWKS 12TH MAN ARMY.

WE TAKE PRIDE IN GIVING SEAHAWKS FANS AROUND THE CLOCK UPDATES,  ALL SEAHAWKS ALL THE TIME. SO IF YOU WANT THE LATEST SEAHAWKS NEWS DELIVERED FOR FREE RIGHT TO YOUR EMAIL BOX ONCE A WEEK, SIGN UP AND ENJOY!

WE HAVE BEEN PROUDLY SERVING DIEHARD SEAHAWKS FANS SINCE 2004.

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz