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Former No. 1 overall pick Matt Bush to accept plea deal in DUI hit-and-run case

Dec 14, 2012, 7:05 PM EDT

Matt Bush mugshot

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.

  1. stex52 - Dec 14, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    You can say he deserves it, and you can feel limited sympathy for him. But the waste of a life is a sad thing.

    • tfbuckfutter - Dec 14, 2012 at 8:12 PM

      His life isn’t wasted.

      He has to do a timeout. He could turn his life around and do positive things 3 years from now.

      That is however unlikely because sadly our prison system doesn’t function as it should, which is by rehabilitating people so the result is the aforementioned outcome, but rather a negative-reinforcement punishment spearheaded by a vocal and rabid group of people angry that people do bad things despite not everyone having the same advantages in life they have (be it wealth, opportunity, education, good parents, proper raising, a strong moral compass….whatever combination of those things result in some people doing good and some people doing bad)…..

      His career, however, is a waste.

      • stabonerichard - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:44 PM

        It’s really easy to say our prison system should rehabilitate prisoners, and a neat idea. To actually deal with the reality of it is a much different animal. Read Hot House, previously recommended by HBT’s own Aaron Gleeman.

      • micker716 - Dec 15, 2012 at 12:33 AM

        Maybe he can turn it around. I hope so. Most importantly though, society doesn’t need to worry about this scumbag harming anyone else for a few years.

    • tfbuckfutter - Dec 14, 2012 at 8:15 PM

      For the record, I am not saying Matt Bush lacked opportunities or anything like that….and I’m not saying people aren’t ultimately responsible for their actions….I am just pointing out that when people break the law, it is usually because of a lack of something in their upbringing….which is just a reason for the action not an excuse of the action.

      • cur68 - Dec 14, 2012 at 8:20 PM

        tb: I think some will understand what you mean and some will see you as supporting MB. For my part, I think your description of prison life is pretty accurate. As for MB? Well, Bush still has a chance to make something of his life but he’s pretty much done as a ballplayer.

      • tfbuckfutter - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:12 PM

        I like that my followup has a 100% disapproval reaction.

        Why do people think when you search for what caused a negative action that it is the same as searching for an excuse for that action?

        There was a reason the guy in Colorado shot up a theater. It wasn’t just “oh that guy’s crazy”. There’s a REASON he is crazy or SOMETHING that triggered his crazy. Asking WHY he did it isn’t an attempt to excuse his behavior, but an exercise in gathering knowledge to prevent it from happening again.

        If more people were curious “why” that incident happened maybe more people would have recognize the signs leading up to the horrific events of today and things like it wouldn’t be occurring more frequently.

        But I know….”That guy was crazy. The end.”

      • cur68 - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:27 PM

        You want people to think as opposed to take the easy way out and come up with a blanket answer. Good luck with that. Your life won’t be easy.

      • paperlions - Dec 15, 2012 at 11:49 AM

        I bet the negative reaction is related to “when people break the law, it is usually because of a lack of something in their upbringing”, which is most patently false. The vast majority of our leaders (presidents, congressmen, etc.) have broken laws, usually white collar crime, but nearly all of them have done illegal things in the name of their career and the pursuit of power….who they are keeps such people out of jail…and upbringing had nothing to do with their law breaking. There are a lot of reasons people may break laws: greed, need, boredom, inherent meanness, hate, vengeance….it’s a long list, and much of it has nothing to do with upbringing.

      • tfbuckfutter - Dec 15, 2012 at 6:45 PM

        paperlions, you just reinforced my point….yes, politicians and lots of people break the law and get away with it, especially in the white-collar world.

        And the reason they do so is because they didn’t have ethics and morals properly instilled in them during their upbringing.

        Having ethical parents who instill that in their children would be an ADVANTAGE that many people don’t have.

  2. kkolchak - Dec 14, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    “Bush has been in a Charlotte County jail since March”

    Damn–dude apparently didn’t even have the cash to make bail. A wasted life is a good way to put it.

    • raysfan1 - Dec 14, 2012 at 8:05 PM

      Bail was over $1,000,000

      • kkolchak - Dec 14, 2012 at 8:18 PM

        His signing bonus was $3.15 million. Up in smoke, I guess.

  3. Carl Hancock - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    It’s crazy how similar crimes results in vastly different consequences. Donte Stallworth kills a man while driving drunk and he’s still playing football. Granted I don’t believe he fled the scene but a man died. I’m not saying Bush is being treated unfairly. Just saying its crazy how consequences can vary greatly.

    • Kevin S. - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:50 PM

      Dont’e Stallworth got off incredibly light (24 days in prison, I believe). But just about every mitigating factor went in his favor. Not only did he not flee the scene, I believe he tried to help save the guy, he made efforts to make restitution with the family, he had no prior record…

  4. jason9696 - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    I hope the 72 year old victim sues the punks ass off.

    • jwbiii - Dec 14, 2012 at 11:09 PM

      Bush’s bail was reduced from $1.015M to $440k. If he can’t come up with $44k to get his punk ass out of jail, is he really worth suing?

      • psuravens19 - Dec 15, 2012 at 10:05 AM

        I could be wrong, but I think his insurance company would be the one that pays if he is sued.

      • paperlions - Dec 15, 2012 at 11:51 AM

        I don’t think insurance pays off when you break the law….they may cover medical bills, if that.

      • jwbiii - Dec 15, 2012 at 4:39 PM

        Thank you, psuravens, that makes sense. I read that the victim was going to sue Bush and the teammate who loaned him the car. Bush, presumably, has neither a car nor insurance; his teammate has a car and presumably does have insurance.

  5. codyodea - Dec 15, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Nature vs nurture are equal contributors to character outcome. Not one of these factors can be ignored.

  6. scrap7681 - Dec 15, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    He could have used a bail bondsman, parents put up their property as collateral, be released with a monitor, ect. Whoever is representing him probably advised him there was no way to beat the case so get as much credited time served now. Obviously the prosecution denied giving him time credited towards his sentence if he just pleads out.

  7. 85pmart - Dec 16, 2012 at 5:58 AM

    Booze. Wrecks more lives than wars, disease and mayhem, combined. How many will have DUI’s this Sunday from drinking while watching 9 hours of football, then getting behind the wheel of a car?

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