Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth today pleaded guilty to reckless driving and will spend five days in jail as a result.
Unlike most defendants, he will get to serve his sentence on weekends, however. Werth reportedly plans to turn himself in tomorrow to being serving the sentence.
As part of the court proceeding, the MLB veteran’s license is suspended for six months, but he can start driving again after 30 days with restrictive privileges.
Last month, Werth was found guilty of misdemeanor reckless driving arising from a July incident on I-495 in Fairfax County, Virginia, when a state trooper clocked him going 105 mph in his Porsche.
Werth, 35, appealed the ruling to a higher court, and today reached a plea bargain in exchange for dropping the appeal that cuts the jail time in half, the Washington Postreported. It was apparently worth it for Werth to resolve the matter rather than pursue the appeal.
“Werth, who attended Thursday’s hearing, will serve his sentence on weekends, so he can continue rehabilitation following shoulder surgery during the week and training for the upcoming season. Circuit Court Judge Randy L. Bellows said such latitude was unusual for someone caught driving more than 100 mph on the Beltway, but ultimately agreed to it.”
Werth had arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder earlier this month.
Spring training for Nationals’ position players begins in Florida on February 24. Pitchers and catchers on most teams generally show up several weeks earlier.
Said Werth’s lawyer to Judge Bellows, “he is very involved in the community. This was an aberration.”
Originally drafted by the Baltimore Orioles, the outfielder broke in with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2002 and also played for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies before inking a seven-year, $126 million free-agent contract with the Nats in December 2010. He is a career.274 hitter, with 186 home runs and 659 RBI. In the 2014 campaign, he recorded a.292 average with 16 home runs and 82 RBI over 147 games and led the Nats with an.849 OPS mark.
The Washington Nationals issued the following statement about the Jayson Werth reckless driving plea deal.
“We are aware of the agreement reached today. It is clear that Jayson has taken this matter seriously and with great personal reflection. We do not condone reckless behavior, and we expect all members of the Washington Nationals organization to act in a responsible manner. We support Jayson, who is an integral part of the community and of the Washington Nationals family.”
According to ESPN, “It is not unusual in Virginia for judges to impose short jail sentences in cases where speeds exceed 100 mph.”
The MLB commissioner’s office evidently has no plans to impose any additional discipline on Jayson Werth for the reckless driving incident.
[image credit: Keith Allison]