The Lawrence Journal-World reported last night that Boston Red Sox minor league pitcher Cody Kukuk pleaded no contest to multiple charges involving a home invasion in Lawrence, KS, last fall. Kukuk accepted a deal with Douglas County prosecutors, admitting guilt on charges of aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, and standard robbery.
Kukuk and four other defendants were accused of invading a home in Lawrence on November 8th, 2014, attacking the residents and stealing cash and marijuana.
Kukuk, Yusef Kindell (age 21) Driskell Alan Johnson (age 20), Zachary Pence (age 21) and Gabriel Patterson (age 21) all of Lawrence, agreed to rob "these people who sold weed" according to Pence's testimony against the other defendants. Kukuk came to the crime scene prepared with a backward hoodie with eye slits cut into the hood to disguise his face.
There, Kukuk used a table leg as a weapon to beat KU senior Christopher Adams, Pence testified, while Johnson threatened the man with a gun and "pistol whipped" another resident. Pence said he, Patterson and Kindell had remained near the entrance to the apartment while the alleged crimes were being committed.
Pence and Adams testified that after the victims were brutalized, the men took about $900, 4 ounces of marijuana and an Xbox from the apartment.
Kukuk subsequently fled to Long Beach, California, where he was arrested on November 17th and extradited back to Douglas County.
Sentencing is scheduled for June 9th. Kukuk is currently free on bond but faces up to 519 months in prison (more than 40 years behind bars) if sentenced to the maximum extent of the law.
Kukuk was drafted by the Red Sox in the seventh round in 2011 from Free State High School in Lawrence, signing for an $800,000 bonus. He pitched in 2014 for Salem in the High-A Carolina League. Previous reports indicated that he was released by Boston in December following the arrest. Subsequent information indicated that he was placed on the restricted list, although he is currently listed as "released" by Minor League Baseball. Either way, it is clear that Kukuk's professional career is over.