MIAMI — Cleveland Browns wide receiver and former University of Tennessee standout Donte’ Stallworth was driving drunk when he struck and killed a pedestrian, according to published and broadcast reports Thursday.
WSVN-TV reported Thursday that unnamed sources with knowledge of the investigation said Stallworth’s blood-alcohol level was between .08 and .16. The legal limit is .08. The Miami Herald also cited an unnamed source as saying that Stallworth’s blood-alcohol level was above the legal limit.
The Miami Beach Police Department refused to confirm the reports. Ed Griffith, spokesman for Miami-Dade County prosecutor Katherine Fernandez Rundle, would say only that the investigation is focusing on whether alcohol was a factor in the death of 59-year-old Mario Reyes.
Reyes was struck and killed by a Bentley driven by Stallworth about 7 a.m. Saturday morning. Reyes, a crane operator, had just gotten off work and was trying to catch a bus when he was hit.
No charges have been filed against Stallworth, 28. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, nor his attorney, Robert Switke, returned calls from The Associated Press seeking comment. Stallworth issued a statement Wednesday saying he was “grief stricken” over Reyes’ death.
If Stallworth was drunk, he could be charged with DUI manslaughter which carries a maximum 15-year prison sentence.
Two other former UT players have been involved in fatal wrecks.
Dwayne Goodrich, who starred in UT’s national championship game victory over Florida State, is in prison for criminally negligent homicide after running over two people on a Dallas freeway in 2003. Police estimated his car was going 110 miles per hour when he struck and killed two motorists who were trying to rescue a man from a burning car.
In 1998, Leonard Little ran a red light at a downtown intersection and killed a motorist after celebrating his 24th birthday at a St. Louis bar. Little's blood alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit. He was charged with involuntary manslaughter and served 90 days in jail and received community service.
Stallworth signed a seven-year, $35 million contract with the Browns as a free agent before last season but was injured much of the year. He previously played for New England, Philadelphia and New Orleans in the NFL.