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Former NFLer Conner gets 15 years in crash

TAMPA, Fla. (July 14, 2005) -- Former NFL player Darion Conner was sentenced to 15 years in prison for killing a bicyclist while he was driving drunk. TAMPA, Fla. (July 14, 2005) -- Former NFL player Darion Conner was sentenced to 15 years in prison for killing a bicyclist while he was driving drunk.

A jury found Conner guilty last week of DUI-manslaughter and vehicular homicide.

Witnesses testified they saw the 37-year-old Connor driving his Toyota Land Cruiser erratically before slamming into Jonathan Michael Conklin around 1:50 a.m. on Sept. 4, 2004. The collision sent Conklin, 32, flying about 200 feet through the air, prosecutors said. He died at the scene.

Investigators who arrived a few minutes later said they found Conner passed out behind the wheel with alcohol on his breath. His blood-alcohol level was tested at 0.27, more than three times the legal limit of 0.08.

Conner spent eight seasons as a linebacker and defensive lineman in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Carolina Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles. The Jackson State University product spent the last six years of his career playing for the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League.

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