Ex-Ray RHP Matt Bush to accept plea deal in DUI hit-and-run case
Former Rays righthander Matt Bush will accept a plea deal from the state next week to end his DUI hit-and-run case.
Attorney Russell Kirshy declined to offer specifics on the agreement, at least until Tuesday's court hearing. But Bush's father, Daniel, said it will involve a prison sentence of at least three years, not including the time already served.
“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."
Bush, the former No. 1 overall pick in 2004, has been in Charlotte County jail since his arrest March 22 in Nort Port, where police said he hit the motorcycle of 72-year-old Tony Tufano and fled the scene. When a search, which included deputies and a helicopter, found Bush, he told police he didn't remember seeing — or hitting — a motorcycle. Police said Bush had a blood alcohol percentage of .180, more than double the level at which Florida considers a driver impaired. Two days later, Bush pleaded not guilty to the seven charges, including DUI with serious injury, but was held on $440,000 bond.
Tufano was in an intensive care unit at a Fort Myers hospital for a few weeks, having suffered broken bones in his back, broken ribs, a collapsed lung and brain hemorrhaging. He is home now, though daughter-in-law Shannon Moore said he’s not the same, still dealing with physical issues. The Tufano family has filed a $5 million civil lawsuit against Bush and Rays minor league outfielder Brandon Guyer, who owned the Dodge Durango Bush was driving.
Bush, who signed a minor league deal with the Rays in 2010, was put on the restricted list after his arrest and released in October.
-- JOE SMITH