Matt Bush pleaded no contest to driving under the influence with serious bodily injury following a spring training DUI arrest for hitting a 72-year-old motorcyclist in Florida and when it came time for sentencing yesterday the former No. 1 overall pick opted for extra prison time.
Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times reports that prosecutors gave Bush the choice of taking three years in prison and seven years probation or four years in prison and no probation. He took the longer prison sentence, with his attorney explaining that getting out earlier to be on probation would have been a “disaster waiting to happen” for Bush considering his lengthy history of alcohol-related problems.
He’s already spent nine months in prison, so the time served was factored into the sentencing and Bush will be in prison for another three years and three months. And because it was the 27-year-old’s third DUI his license has been revoked for 10 years.
Smith writes that the 72-year-man Bush hit “is on pain medication, sleeps a lot, and has trouble remembering things” nine months after the incident, which caused a broken bone in his back, broken ribs, and brain hemorrhaging. The man’s family is upset that Bush will not have to be on probation once he’s out of prison in 2016 and has filed a $5 million civil lawsuit against him.
Bush was drafted first overall by the Padres out of high school in 2004 and signed for a $3.15 million bonus. He was in spring training camp with the Rays at the time of the arrest and was released by the team in October.
According to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, former No. 1 overall pick Matt Bush will accept a plea deal next week for his DUI hit-and-run case in Florida.
Bush has been in a Charlotte County jail since March on charges that he hit 72-year-old motorcyclist Tony Tufano with a vehicle while under the influence and fled the scene. Attorney Russell Kirshy declined to offer specifics on the plea agreement, but Bush’s father said it will involve a prison sentence of at least three years, not including the time he has already spent in prison.
“He’s taking it pretty good,” Daniel Bush said. “He’s not crying or sulking. He’s preparing for it. Everybody in our family is backing him up.”
Tufano suffered broken bones in his back, broken ribs, a collapsed lung and brain hemorrhaging as a result of the crash. While he is back home now, he is still dealing with physical issues.
The Rays placed Bush on the restricted list following his arrest and officially released him in October.
According to Bill Chastian of MLB.com, the Rays officially released Matt Bush yesterday after he spent the entire season on the restricted list following his DUI hit-and-run arrest in March.
Bush is accused of hitting a 72-year-old motorcyclist with a vehicle while under the influence and fleeing the scene of an accident. The 26-year-old remains in a Charlotte County jail, though the state of Florida has offered him a plea deal.
Bush was selected by the Padres with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2004 First-Year Player draft, but he his career has been marred by personal and legal troubles. He was arrested for a fight at a nightclub in Arizona before he even played a game. After struggling as a shortstop, the Padres moved him to the mound, but he required Tommy John surgery in 2008. He had a pair of alcohol-related incidents in 2009, during which he was acquired by the Blue Jays and then released. The Rays were hopeful that he had worked through his off-field troubles and was ready to salvage his career as a pitcher, but he’s all out of chances.