Donte Stallworth Suspended indefinitely by NFL
posted at 6/18/2009 5:05 PM EDT
Stallworth suspended indefinitely
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte' Stallworth, who pleaded guilty Tuesday to DUI manslaughter in the death of a pedestrian in Florida, has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL.
The suspension is effective immediately, the league announced in an extensive news release Thursday afternoon.
"The conduct reflected in your guilty plea resulted in the tragic loss of life and was inexcusable," commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "While the criminal justice system has determined the legal consequences of this incident, it is my responsibility as NFL Commissioner to determine appropriate league discipline for your actions, which have caused irreparable harm to the victim and his family, your club, your fellow players and the NFL."
Stallworth began serving a 30-day jail sentence Tuesday. He also was sentenced to two years of house arrest following his release from jail, and will be on probation for eight years. He had faced 15 years in prison.
The punishment was made possible by his cooperation with investigators and the fervent wish by the victim's family to put the matter behind them.
But Goodell showed no mercy in the wording of his statement.
"There is no reasonable dispute that your continued eligibility for participation at this time would undermine the integrity of and public confidence in our league," he said.
Stallworth, 28, also reached a confidential financial settlement with the family of 59-year-old Mario Reyes, a Miami construction worker struck and killed early on March 14 by Stallworth, who was driving drunk in his black 2005 Bentley.
Stallworth told Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Dennis Murphy on Tuesday 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.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.