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

140506udfa600

The Seahawks have been very good to rookie free agents

Despite having one of the best and deepest rosters in the NFL, the Seahawks have become a good ...
140505donald600

Where does Aaron Donald fit in first round of NFL Draft?

Aaron Donald did all the right things at the University of Pittsburgh, but the undersized defensive tackle needs ...
Untitled

Golden Tate Cheating With Russell Wilson’s Wife?

Some of you will read this post and say no way, but yes it's true and i have ...
140501clowney600

Mike Mayock can see Seahawks trading down in first round of NFL Draft

The Seahawks hold the last pick in the first round of next week’s NFL Draft, and analyst Mike ...
140502suafilo600

Do Seahawks have designs on building blocks in NFL Draft?

The Seahawks could go in just about any direction with the 32nd pick in the first round of ...
kveTl.AuSt.5

Family tragedies fuel Seahawks running back Robert Turbin

Sitting alone with both elbows on the table and hands folded, Robert Turbin waited. The Seattle Seahawks’ backup running ...
140430schneider600

This NFL draft is very different, but John Schneider’s approach isn’t

John Schneider has been involved in the NFL Draft for two decades and admits that he even dreamed ...
1c4jGw.AuSt.5

Earl Thomas reaches long-term extension with Seahawks

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network first reported Thomas’ extension. The extension will make Thomas the highest-paid safety in ...

Shop for Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl XLVIII Champs Merchandise at NFLShop.com

Shop for Conference Champs and Super Bowl XLVIII Match Up Merchandise at NFLShop.com

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