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Charlotte County judge cuts bail for Tampa Bay Rays' Matt Bush from $1.015M to $440K

PUNTA GORDA — A Charlotte County judge on Thursday lowered the bail of Rays minor league pitcher Matt Bush to $440,000 in his DUI hit-and-run case.

Even so, Bush's attorney Russell Kirshy said, "I don't think there's a chance" he could make that bail.

Judge John Duryea called the original bail of $1.015 million "excessive," but labeled Bush's behavior as "egregious" and said the state had a "strong" case against him with a conviction "probable."

Bush is in Charlotte County Jail facing seven charges stemming from a March 22 arrest when police said he hit the motorcycle of 72-year-old Tony Tufano and fled the scene. Bush had a blood alcohol level of .180, more than double the level at which Florida considers a driver impaired.

Shannon Moore, Tufano's daughter in law, said while the family wants Bush to remain in jail, she believes the reduced bail is "reasonable" and "fair" given the facts.

Kirshy argued that with Bush being "indigent," with $1,000 in the bank and no significant assets, the original bail was unconstitutional, that excessive bail was essentially no bail. Kirshy cited 10 previous similar cases in Charlotte County where bail was as much as 10 times less. Kirshy requested bail be around $30,000.

Kirshy said while he doesn't agree with Duryea's decision, he won't criticize it because the judge thoroughly went through all the facts.

Duryea added conditions in case Bush made bail, which would include GPS monitoring and daily alcohol monitoring through a bracelet, he'd have to stay in Charlotte County.

Kirshy said even if Bush could make bail, he couldn't afford the $600 a month it'd cost to comply with the court's post-bail requests.

Moore said Tufano, who spent a few weeks in intensive care with serious injuries, is recovering at home but still using a walker and in pain, needing a lot of medication.

Charlotte County judge cuts bail for Tampa Bay Rays' Matt Bush from $1.015M to $440K 05/03/12 [Last modified: Thursday, May 3, 2012 1:46pm]
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