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Rays' Matt Bush seeks bail reduction in DUI case

Published:   |   Updated: March 19, 2013 at 04:07 AM

A Charlotte County judge will decide Thursday morning if Tampa Bay Rays minor league pitcher Matt Bush should have his bail reduced from $1.015 million, the amount set two days after Bush's alleged involvement in a DUI hit-and-run with injury.

Bush's attorney, Russell Kirshy, argued Tuesday morning before Judge John Duryea at the Charlotte County Justice Center in Punta Gorda that bail should be set at $19,000, an amount he suggested on March 24, during Bush's first appearance.

Bush would then enter a treatment program in Port Charlotte.

Kirshy presented 10 cases in Charlotte County history involving DUI cases. The highest bail in the 10 cases was $96,000, and that involved DUI manslaughter.

"Certainly I can see (the judge) going up to $65,000, which is what somebody else in his shoes got," Kirshy said. "Certainly I can't imagine it being more than somebody got who killed somebody."

Bush remains in Charlotte County Jail facing seven charges related to the allegations he drove an SUV borrowed from teammate Brandon Guyer into the back of a motorcycle driven by Tony Tufano, 72, of Port Charlotte on U.S. 41 in Port Charlotte on the afternoon of March 22.

Tufano was airlifted to Lee County Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers with fractured ribs, a fractured wrist and brain hemorrhaging. Tufano spent time in a medically induced coma. He is now recovering at home.

"He went from a marathon runner to using a walker, it's pretty bad to see," Tufano's daughter-in-law, Shannon Moore, said.

Prosecutor Richard Simpson presented evidence Tuesday regarding Bush's previous DUI arrests and information regarding his actions March 22 prior to the alleged accident involving Tufano, when he allegedly was involved in at least two other traffic accidents.

"(Bush has) had way too many chances," Moore said.

Tufano's attorney, Paul Sullivan, said he will argue Thursday that Bush's bail should not be reduced.

"I'm going to argue the bond stays the same," Sullivan said. "That's the Tufano's point of view."

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