Matt Bush, the first overall pick in the 2004 MLB draft, has been sentenced to four years and three months in prison on DUI charges.
The former elite baseball pitching prospect was charged with driving under the influence with serious bodily injury for a hit-and-run that resulted in serious injuries for a 72-year-old man in Florida, reports USA Today. At the time of the accident, Bush had a blood alcohol level more than twice the legal limit. It was Bush's third DUI arrest.
Bush entered a plea deal with prosecutors and pleaded no contest. In return, six other counts were dropped. Also as part of the deal, Bush was given a choice as to exactly how much time he would have to spend in prison.
As part of his plea deal, prosecutors gave Bush two sentencing options, reports Deadspin: Bush could accept a shorter stay of three years in prison, but with a seven-year probation requirement; or Bush could choose a longer prison sentence of four years, but with no probation.
Bush's attorney said that given his client's history of alcohol problems, the seven-year probation was a "disaster waiting to happen." It was noted by Deadspin that Bush hasn't yet gone seven years without being arrested, so avoiding probation was probably a smart move.
If you are wondering how an extra year of prison time is better than probation, keep in mind that any future slip-up during the probationary period could result in even more time behind bars.
So Bush basically did not trust himself to stay sober, even after a potential three-year prison term. He made the calculation that he may get busted for a DUI again, and so chose to lose one year of freedom just to avoid probation.
For the former Tampa Bay Rays pitching prospect, that's a sad choice.
- Ex-Ray RHP Bush pleads no contest to DUI causing serious bodily injury (Tampa Bay Times)
- Josh Brent's Blood Alcohol Level: How Many Drinks Is That? (FindLaw's Tarnished Twenty)
- Mark Grace to Prison for DUI? (FindLaw's Tarnished Twenty)