<
>

Spiezio pleads guilty, gets three years probation

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Scott Spiezio pleaded guilty Monday to misdemeanor drunken driving and hit-and-run charges stemming from a December car crash in Orange County.

Spiezio's lawyer entered the plea as part of a plea agreement, said Farrah Emami, a spokeswoman for county prosecutors. Spiezio was ordered to serve three years probation, undergo a three-month alcohol program, attend two Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and complete 80 hours of community service.

He must also pay about $1,700 in fines and restitution, including $839 in damages caused by the crash, she said.

Spiezio was cut by the St. Louis Cardinals in February after a warrant was issued for his arrest. Prosecutors said he crashed his car into a curb and fence in Irvine before running away. A neighbor told police Spiezio arrived at their condo complex appearing disheveled and apparently injured. The neighbor, identified in court papers as Michael P., alleged that Spiezio punched him, causing significant injuries.

Spiezio was charged with misdemeanor counts of aggravated assault, assault and battery in connection to the neighbor's claims, but prosecutors dropped those charges because he "was pleading guilty to two counts and had a relationship" with the neighbor, Emami said.

The 35-year-old Spiezio agreed March 31 to a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves.

"The penalty ... is fair and permits Scott to move ahead with his career," Spiezio's attorney, Paul S. Meyer, said in a statement. "Scott appreciates the opportunity to demonstrate his good faith and his commitment to a successful season."

Spiezio won World Series championships with Anaheim in 2002 and St. Louis in 2006 during 12 seasons in the majors.