Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donté Stallworth began serving a 30-day jail sentence yesterday 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 2 years of house arrest and spend 8 years on probation. The house arrest provisions will allow him to resume his football career, his attorney said.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league is reviewing the matter for possible disciplinary action. Stallworth, who played for the Eagles in 2006, 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.
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 5 years, Stallworth could win approval for limited driving such as for employment.
The New England Patriots have signed Penn State offensive linemen Rich Ohrnberger, their fourth-round draft pick.
Prosecutors in Texas have set deadline of tomorrow morning for former San Diego Chargers quarterback Ryan Leaf to turn himself in on drug-related charges, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
The Atlanta Falcons' signed their third-round pick, cornerback Christopher Owens, and offensive tackle Garrett Reynolds, a fifth-round pick.
The Houston Texans are partnering with the Texas Lottery on an instant-win game featuring the team's logo.
The game, which will be available at the start of the season, is a $5 scratch-off ticket with prizes of up to $100,000. People who do not win instantly can mail their tickets in for several second-chance drawings for Texans prizes, including autographed jerseys and a trip for 14 to a Texans game with tickets in a suite.
Former Kansas City Chiefs executive Carl Peterson is the new chairman of USA Football. He replaces the late Jack Kemp.
USA Football is the national governing body of youth football. Peterson, who spent 20 years with the Chiefs, will serve as chairman of the independent nonprofit. *