All-Star Mark Grace Avoids Prison Time with Plea

Defense attorneys for one very fortunate former major league ball player were able to strike a deal with prosecutors this morning in court that will prevent their client from serving time in a state correctional facility for his actions.

Mark Grace, the long time Chicago Cub first baseman who would later go on to help the Arizona Diamondbacks win their first and only world championship in 2001 was in court to face charges of his second DUI arrest in a 15-month span. By pleading guilty to endangerment and DUI, he now avoids what could have been a lengthy prison sentence. Instead, a judge imposed a sentence that includes four months of jail time with work-release, most likely to be served in the infamous “Tent City” presided over by the controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

For his misdeeds, Grace also earned himself three years of supervised probation, an Interlock device that must be installed in his vehicle for six months and he will also need permission to travel out of state.

It’s worth noting that the plea deal averts a March 19th trial which, in all likelihood, would have found him guilty anyway. One can assume the plea was partly calculated to avoid being outside in Phoenix in the unpleasant summer.

Though contrite about his conduct, it’s fair to say that Grace’s popularity in the Phoenix community might have ultimately saved him from a lengthy prison sentence.

The judge at his sentencing seems to have given Grace the benefit of the doubt that he won’t do it again, and that he’ll benefit society more by spending less time behind bars. Both have a chance to be true.

His work-release sentence begins Feb. 10.

Grace was first arrested for DUI in May of 2011, and subsequently his license was suspended and he was required to have an interlock device in his vehicle. After being arrested for the second time in less than two years for DUI, the charges against him this time around included operating a vehicle with a suspended license and driving without a court-ordered interlock device.

Considering the former Arizona Diamondbacks player and broadcaster was charged with four counts of aggravated DUI, I’m sure Grace will gladly accept the sentence the judge decided to impose rather than the three-years of prison he was facing.

This seems like a common example of a genuinely good person who simply made some poor choices. Let’s hope Mr. Grace has finally learned the lesson that drinking and driving don’t mix.

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