June 16, 2009 / 5:05 PM / in 8 years

Stallworth gets jail sentence in drunk-driving death

3 Min Read

<p>New England Patriots' wide receiver Donte Stallworth advances with the ball during second half pre-season NFL action in Charlotte, North Carolina, August 24, 2007.Chris Keane</p>

MIAMI (Reuters) - Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte Stallworth pleaded guilty on Tuesday to manslaughter while driving under the influence of alcohol and was sentenced to 30 days in jail for the car crash that killed a pedestrian on Miami Beach.

The National Football League player's jail term will be followed by two years of house arrest and eight years' probation.

Stallworth might be allowed to play football during that time, if his community control officer and the NFL allow it, because people under house arrest are usually permitted to go to work or school, a spokeswoman for the Miami-Dade County state attorney's office said.

But he will need a lift to the stadium because his driver's license has been suspended for life.

"He cannot drive ever again for any reason. That is what the (victim's) family wanted. The family urged us to do this," spokeswoman Terry Chavez said.

A judge also ordered Stallworth to pay $10,000 in fines and perform 1,000 hours of community service.

Blood tests showed he had a blood alcohol level of 0.126, well above Florida's legal limit of 0.08, when he hit and killed 59-year-old construction worker Mario Reyes on March 14, court documents said.

Black Bentley

Stallworth had been drinking at a Miami Beach club before crashing his black Bentley GT coupe into Reyes, who was walking across the MacArthur Causeway after finishing his shift as a crane operator.

Stallworth, 28, had faced up to 15 years in prison but pleaded guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence.

He also reached a confidential civil settlement with Reyes's family, Stallworth's attorney, Chris Lyons, told reporters.

Lyons said Stallworth had accepted full responsibility for his actions.

"He acted like a man, he reported it immediately to the police through 911, he remained at the scene, he co-operated fully with the Miami Beach Police Department," Lyons said.

State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said Stallworth had no prior traffic violations or criminal convictions, and that Reyes's family had agreed to the terms of his sentence.

Editing by Pascal Fletcher and Ed Osmonnd

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