Cleveland Brown’s WR Donte Stallworth Charged With DUI Manslaughter in Car Crash Death of Mario Reyes
NFL wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns charged with DUI manslaughter. Why do people and the media portray athletes as being more important than John Q. Public? Enough of this nonsense that he can catch a ball or run fast … Stallworth killed a man while driving impaired … throw the book at him and teach these privileged athletes that there are consequences to their actions. Just ask the family of Mario Reyes.
The NFL finds itself with another black eye with an off-field action by one of it’s players. On the morning of March 17, 2009, Cleveland Brown’s WR Donte Stallworth was in a MVA in Miami, FL when while driving his Bentley, Stallworth allegedly hit and killed a 59 year old man who was crossing the MacArthur Causeway to catch a bus home after finishing his shift around 7:15 a.m. After much deliberation, Donte Stallworth has been charged with DUI manslaughter in to the death of 59 year old crane operator, Mario Reyes, and is expected to surrender to police Thursday morning. If convicted, Stallworth would face up to 15 years in prison
The NFL and the Cleveland Browns are reviewing the charges against wide receiver Donte Stallworth, who is accused of killing a pedestrian while driving his Bentley drunk after a night out at a posh South Beach hotel.
Stallworth was expected to surrender in court Thursday morning to face charges of DUI manslaughter in the March 14 accident that killed 59-year-old Mario Reyes. If convicted, Stallworth would face up to 15 years in prison. A warrant for the 28-year-old’s arrest was filed Wednesday and prosecutors said they will ask that he be released on $200,000 bail.
Stallworth’s blood-alcohol level after the crash was .126, well above Florida’s legal limit of .08, according to results of a blood test. Stallworth will also be charged with DUI, which carries a possible six-month sentence plus fines and community service for first offenders.
Ever wonder what is wrong with society and why we make athletes some how more important than common folk who try to make ends meet, go to their job, pay their bills and balance their budgets in these hard times? Maybe it’s because of articles like this from Sports Illustrated, ‘DUI manslaughter charge puts Stallworth’s career in jeopardy’. Honestly, who cares whether Dante Stallworth’s career is in jeopard? HE KILLED A MAN!!! SI writes of an athletes career while Mario Reyes not only has no career, he has no life as that was taken from him. The article further goes on to state how Stallworth has repeatedly apologized and that “unfortunately” for Stallworth the Florida laws work against him. UNFORTUNATELY?
Stallworth has repeatedly apologized for the accident and expressed sorrow. Nonetheless, Florida law is clear. A driver whose blood alcohol content exceeds the legal limit and whose operation of a vehicle caused or contributed to a pedestrian’s death will be convicted of DUI manslaughter.
Unfortunately for Stallworth, a very recent modification in Florida law works against him. On February 26, 2009, the Supreme Court of Florida approved changes in jury instructions for DUI manslaughter. These changes diminish defendants’ chances for escaping a DUI conviction by having otherwise complied with traffic laws. As stated, the revised instructions would only require prosecutors to show that Stallworth’s blood alcohol content exceeded 0.08 and that he caused or contributed to Reyes’ death as a result of driving the Bentley. As a result, even if Stallworth drove reasonably except for his inebriation, the new wording of the jury instructions suggests that he would still be convicted.
Stallworth can apologize all he wants; however, the fact of the matter is he was driving drunk (blood alcohol content was 0.12, exceeding 0.08) and he hit and killed a man crossing the road trying to catch a bus to go home after working as a crane operator. I bet Stallworth is sorry. Sorry he was caught. What is more important, a human life or a football player’s career?
Let’s look at the fact of the two people and their lives that will forever be changed. NFL WR Donte Stallworth was driving a Bentley, far from an inexpensive vehicle. Stallworth had just signed a seven-year, $35 million contract with the Browns before last season. Hardly chump change in the present state of affairs of the economy. Stallworth was drinking and living La Vita Loca at a club in the posh Fontainebleau hotel on South Beach prior to the DUI accident.
Now compare that to a man just trying to get home after a long night of work. 59 year old Mario Reyes was on his way home trying to catch a bus after working the night shift. Reyes was a construction crane operator trying to catch a bus home after finishing his shift around 7:15 a.m.
This is not a matter of class warfare or envy, this is a matter of personal responsibility. When one makes $5 million a year, one would think they could afford a cab or spend the night in the posh hotel where they were drinking.
One man takes a bus home, the other a Bentley. One is an NFL highly paid athlete, the other a crane operator. One man was at work and trying to get home, the other clubbing and drinking the night away. More importantly … one man is dead.