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 DUIpeople 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.

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  • Comments

    15 Responses to “Cleveland Brown’s WR Donte Stallworth Charged With DUI Manslaughter in Car Crash Death of Mario Reyes”

    1. Rusty Bridges on April 2nd, 2009 1:16 pm

      I hope beyond hope he gets the max. God bless this poor family that has to go on without their loved one. Go to hell Stallworth you overpaid clown, what gives you the right. May God let you be the lesson for the others.

    2. Sweet_Thang on April 2nd, 2009 2:33 pm

      Potential 15 years? Kind of reminds me of the treatment Ted Kennedy got for leaving the scene of a fatal accident, oh wait!

    3. jennifer on April 2nd, 2009 3:40 pm

      If you can afford a Bentley, can’t you pretty much afford a driver?

    4. HOPE on April 2nd, 2009 7:25 pm

      I wouldn’t consider this to be murder, although my heart goes out to the family of the deceased. Murder is when you intentionally take a life. Obviously, there have been cases where people use their cars as weapons to commit a crime but I don’t think that’s the case, here.

    5. Scared Monkeys on April 2nd, 2009 9:36 pm

      I am so tired of these spoiled athletes who use no judgment and in the end their decisions harm others.

      The contrast of one guy busting his ass to make a living coming home from work at 7 in the morning and the other a spoiled rotten athlete just over an all night bender driving home drunk at 7am.



    6. rightknight on April 2nd, 2009 10:40 pm

      Blind justice would simply treat this
      Mr. Stallworth as it would treat any
      other American citizen. Will it?

    7. HOPE on April 2nd, 2009 11:33 pm

      I read in the newspaper they are still looking for the car that killed the man who’s body was found in Aruba. They’ve confiscated two cars, so far. I wonder if it’s all for ‘show’? You know, acting like they’re competent to solve crime while the American’s are lurking and once we pull out, put it along with all the other crimes in the ‘dead’ file?

      I don’t read Papiamento so I’m a little confused… Were there more than one hit and run accidents that night? I’m not sure if the man who we saw lying in the grass was on a motorcycle. It would seem odd, because he didn’t have any shoes on; nor did he have I.D. on him. Besides, the damage to the first car was apparently from much more than hitting a person while the second car has, virtually, no damage at all.

      Anyone know?


    8. Rusty Bridges on April 3rd, 2009 7:49 am

      #4, thats the typical attitude that causes this behavior. Not murder? Getting drunk and running this poor man over with a 3,500 lb weapon not murder? There are different degrees of murder you know. He should know that he is responsible for what happens when he takes that first drink, I do and I don’t drink and drive. What if it was a child, would that suit you better?

      I know people that have served time for less. One person I know personally was driving a motorcycle and a drunk driver struck them and killed the passenger on the bike, his longtime girlfreind. The motorcycle driver was given five years just for being intoxicated and no fault in the accident. They were stopped at a red light!

      These football players should not be above the law, but watch what happens. If he is convicted there will be all sorts of racist accusations, but don’t worry he will walk.

    9. Michelle Smith on April 3rd, 2009 8:57 am

      Yes Hope it is murder. When you decide to get behind the wheel of a car after a night of drinking then you are responsible for your actions. It was not an accident, he knew better and he chose to be irresponsible and careless. It’s vehicle manslaughter and he should get the maximum allowed sentence. There is no excuse for driving drunk. I know too many people who have been victims of this senseless act. I lost a family member to a drunk driver (4 people in total from one accident) I sat in on a Victim Impact Panel a few weeks ago and not one of the charged shed a tear. They don’t care and something needs to be done about it. Harsher sentences for killing or injuring a person while under the influence. Be responsible. It’s a selfish act that happens too often.

    10. HOPE on April 3rd, 2009 5:22 pm

      Obviously, what he did was wrong, but other than vehicular manslaughter there are no provisions under the law that would call this crime murder and it wouldn’t have made any difference if it were a child that had gotten hit by the car. In fact, I would venture to guess that there would be less chance of getting heavier charges if it had been a child. Sad, but the law the way it is currently used gives little consideration for the lives of children imo… Case in point, Casey Anthony. If Caylee had been an adult, a stranger; no doubt she would be facing the death penalty.

      And, I agree with you. People should be responsible for their actions if they are drinking and driving. But, do we know everything there is to know about this case? How do we know the man that was killed wasn’t under the influence, himself, and darted into the path of a car? Do we trust our own officials? Maybe they know more than we give them credit for and maybe not.

      Thing is: I think there is a better chance of the prosecution over-charging in cases having to do with professional athletes… not undercharging. They, often, use them as examples imo.

    11. BUN on April 4th, 2009 1:15 pm

      Agree with Red here…spoiled athletes!! I am reminded of Michael Vick and all the cruelty he used on animals, they should all make GITMO home for a few years.

    12. ANewGirl on April 5th, 2009 3:40 am

      In January of this year, myself and 5 others were chosen to sit on a Jury for the trial of a young woman charged with Vechicular Homicide. She was 26 y.o, and she “accidentally” killed a 23 y.o. male.

      To see the pain on the family’s face, to listen to the deceased young Man’s Mother testify about her account of that evening was gut wrenching. Or, how about to watch the testimony of the deceased’s fiance who miraculously survived? She told of how she was holding her fiance’s hand, screaming his name repeatedly while he lay in the middle of the street staring straight up, the blood gurgling out of his mouth with one eye looking at her and one eye completely dialated and lifeless. She held his hand, told him that she loved him and watched him die, helpless. It sent chills up our spine as Jurors to have to view the crime scene & other forensic evidence… the horrible mess and mangled confusion minutes after when police and EMT’s arrived upon the scene and photos were taken. I just remember thinking, my God- this man lay right there dying and I drive down that same intersection and street on a weekly basis.

      The pain and shame it also brought upon the accused driver’s family was apparent throughout the 3 day trial, as the young woman faced at least a minimum of a 10 year sentence if convicted. Even sadder, she had only been out to a summer Bar-B-Que and had consumed about 3-4 alchoholic beverages throughout a 6 hour time frame. She had no priors and a clean driving record as well.

      There are no winners here at all. In the end, however, the facts cannot be changed. A young man was dead, his bright future snuffed out like a flame from a candle due to the carelessness of another individual.

      Drinking and driving irresponsibly is what it is! Against the law. This is about taking responsibility for taking the life of another due to poor judgement. While the wheels of justice may turn slowly, they do turn. Whether it’s Dante Stalworth, Paris Hilton, Nick Hogan or the Queen of England…those convicted of these crimes should pay their dues to society for the loss of life they have created.

    13. BUN on April 5th, 2009 12:22 pm

      New Girl..good post!

    14. Scared Monkeys on April 5th, 2009 12:53 pm

      Having played high school & college football before finally changing to rugby, I have seen my share of pampered athlete stories and administrations turning a blind eye to events that athletes managed to get themselves in trouble.

      Professional athletes bring it to a whole new level as they are instant millionaires without any concept of earning it.

      It would almost seem like pro teams need to hire babysitters for these chumps to make sure they do not harm themselves. They did in the case of Pacman Jones and the Cowboys and the idiot got in an altercation with the very person who was to protect him.

      Some if not most are just an accident waiting to happen.


    15. Anon on June 16th, 2009 10:43 am

      I have personally driven across that causeway. I can verify that mexicans (cubans et cetera) are jumping across that causeway like a grasshopper infestation. Literally hundreds cross that busy road each day, narrowly being struck (oh wait, they have been struck).

      .12 is equivalent to six beers or so, big whopping deal.

      Philosophical point, if Reyes were illegal (is he?), would the sentence become less severe?

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