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The Florida Bar

Guilty Plea Expected in Stallworth Case

Broward DUI attorney William Moore has learned that Donté Stallworth, the 28-year-old wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns, is accepting plea bargain today. Stallworth, a Fort Lauderdale native who is already famous on the football field, gained notoriety after his involvement in a drunk driving accident that left a local father dead. Stallworth allegedly partied through the night in Fort Lauderdale Beach on March 14 of this year, only leaving the upscale Fontainebleau bar as dawn broke over Fort Lauderdale. He then preceded over the Macarthur causeway to return to his home in Fort Lauderdale. On the way, however, Stallworth was involved in a car accident when he struck a pedestrian. Mario Reyes was 59 when he was killed, crossing the street to catch a bus home after working all night as a crane operator. Stallworth cooperated with investigators, telling them that he honked his horn and flashed his lights at Reyes before the collision. Reyes did not survive.

Fort Lauderdale DUI Lawyer William Moore says that Stallworth faced up to 15 years in prison for the DUI Manslaughter charge. The case might not have been ideal for the state attorney’s office to take to trial, however, due to two points that jurors might believe shifted at least a part of blame to the victim: Reyes was jaywalking, not in a crosswalk, across the road at the time of the accident and Stallworth’s statements that he flashed his headlights and honked at the pedestrian. It is not clear, however, if Stallworth’s statements have been substantiated. Stallworth submitted to roadside field sobriety tests following the accident and a breathalyzer device recorded his BAC at 0.126, higher than the “legal limit” at which Florida law presumes a driver is impaired. After being charged, Stallworth posted bond and was permitted to travel between Fort Lauderdale and Cleveland due to his obligations with the Cleveland Browns.

Stallworth’s plea deal was accepted by the judge in his case. Under its terms, he will spend 30 days in jail in exchange for his guilty plea. He will also be required to complete two years of house arrest, eight years of probation, and 1,000 hours of community service. Stallworth’s driver’s license has been permanently revoked. Prosecutors said they had taken into consideration the defendant’s remorse over the accident, his cooperation with police, and his lack of prior driving problems. The family of Mario Reyes had also considered filing a wrongful death civil lawsuit against the football star, but sources close to the family say that they have reached a monetary settlement with Stallworth. The family reportedly was ready for the painful criminal saga, as well as the potential civil component, to be over.

Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney William Moore provides outstanding DUI defense in Broward, Fort Lauderdale, and Fort Lauderdale-Dade Counties. If you have been charged with a DUI, contact Fort Lauderdale DUI Lawyer William Moore, P.A.

This article should be used for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice nor as implied representation of any person.

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