CARACAS, Venezuela - Former Phillies reliever Ugueth Urbina was sentenced to 14 years in prison for the attempted murder of five workers on his family's ranch, the Caracas-based Attorney General's Office announced yesterday.
He also was found guilty of illegal deprivation of liberty and violating a prohibition against taking justice into his own hands during a dispute over a gun he owned on Oct. 16, 2005, according to a statement from the Attorney General's Office.
The 32-year-old free agent was accused of joining a group of men in attacking and injuring workers with machetes and pouring gasoline on them at his family's ranch about 25 miles south of Caracas.
"The ruling was too severe," said Jose Antonio Baez, who represented Urbina.
Urbina, a two-time all-star, compiled a 44-49 record with 237 saves in 11 seasons. He also pitched for the Montreal Expos, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, Florida Marlins and Detroit Tigers.
He repeatedly has denied involvement in the violence, saying he was sleeping at the time of the attack.
The pitcher's lawyer, Jose Luis Tamayo, has said that Urbina surprised the workers by showing up at his ranch that night while they were bathing in the pool without permission. Urbina spoke sharply to them but later left and went to sleep, Tamayo said.
Urbina last pitched in the major leagues with the Phillies in 2005. He is 30th on the all-time saves list.