Stallworth Out On Bond After Court Hearing

Released on $200,000 bond after turning self in at Miami courthouse

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte Stallworth surrendered early this morning to Miami authorities to face DUI manslaughter charges after he struck and killed a pedestrian while driving his Bentley drunk last month.

Stallworth entered the Miami Dade courthouse just after 8:30 a.m., dressed in a suit and flanked by his family and lawyer. He appeared before Judge Dennis Murphy with his mother Donna sitting nearby in court.

Stallworth was led out of court in handcuffs and released shortly after 12 p.m. after posting a $200,000 bond.

The charges stem from the March 14 accident that killed 59-year-old Mario Reyes, a construction worker on his way home after working the graveyard shift. Stallworth had been hanging out at a South Beach hotel, and his blood alcohol level after the crash was .126, well above Florida's legal limit of .08.

Stallworth made a brief statement outside the courthouse after posting bond, again expressing his condolences to the Reyes family and saying little about his case.

A warrant for Stallworth's arrest was issued yesterday. Stallworth's attorney Christopher Lyons said he would "vigorously defend this case."

"We want to stress there are no winners here. It was a tragic accident," Lyons said.

A DUI manslaughter charge carries a possible 15-year prison sentence.

The NFL and the Browns said they are reviewing the charges under the league's conduct and substance abuse policies.

The Browns said in a statement that they were "disappointed" that Stallworth put himself in this position.

"We are saddened by the circumstances that have taken place and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Mario Reyes," the statement said.

"As the state attorney has said, this was a tragic accident that raises serious issues and we join all those who have expressed their sympathies to the Reyes family," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.

While on bail, Stallworth, 28, won't be allowed to drive or drink alcohol, according to court documents. He also must observe a midnight to 6 a.m. curfew and submit to random alcohol and drug testing through the NFL's substance abuse program.

A Miami Beach police report said Reyes was not in a crosswalk on busy MacArthur Causeway when he was struck by the black 2005 Bentley luxury car driven by Stallworth.

The report also quoted Stallworth as saying he flashed his lights at Reyes in an attempted warning and that Stallworth was driving about 50 mph in a 40 mph zone.

An additional police affidavit filed Wednesday said that on the morning of the crash, Stallworth was drinking at a club in the posh Fontainebleau hotel on South Beach. He left to go to a nearby home -- it's not clear if it was one of his three Miami-area properties -- and then headed out to the causeway where Reyes was struck.

"I hit the man lying in the road," Stallworth told officers arriving to investigate the crash, according to the affidavit. One officer smelled alcohol on Stallworth's breath and said that his eyes appeared bloodshot and watery.

 Stallworth's next court date is April 23, when he will be arraigned. He is not required to be in court for that hearing.

"I just want to first extend my condolences to the Reyes family. My prayers are with them," Stallworth said. "I have full confidence and faith in the legal process."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us