One-time St. Louis Cardinals draft pick Wilfrido J. Pujols, who allegedly violated terms of his probation by leaving the area, was extradited back to Jackson County on Monday.
The Lawrence, Kan., Police Department arrested Pujols at 4:48 p.m. May 28 on West Sixth Street, according to undersheriff Steve M. Hornberger of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. He was picked up on a warrant from the Independence Police Department for first-degree burglary and armed criminal action.
Pujols pleaded guilty to second-degree property damage in November 2006 and was placed on supervised probation for two years. He violated his parole last February and has been on the run since then.
He is the brother of Wilfredo J. Pujols Jr., who pleaded guilty Dec. 8 to one count each of second-degree murder and resisting arrest and two counts of leaving the scene of an accident in connection with the death of Christopher Cooper. Wilfredo Pujols was sentenced to 15 years in state penitentiary in the case.
Wilfrido Pujols was a passenger in the vehicle driven by his brother when it struck and killed Cooper in November 2007. He was not charged in the incident.
“Oh, God, I was happy,” said Cheryl Cooper, Christopher Cooper’s mother. Cheryl Cooper said she feels Wilfrido Pujols should have been implicated in her son’s death. “It’s probably one of the best days that I have had in a long time.”
Wilfrido Pujols was a star baseball player at Fort Osage High School, following in the footsteps of famous older cousin Albert Pujols, an All-Star first baseman with the Cardinals. Wilfrido Pujols signed a $120,000 signing bonus after being drafted by the Cardinals in the sixth round of the 2005 Major League Draft.
He is being held at the Jackson County Detention Center on $75,000 cash only bond. A preliminary hearing for Wilfrido Pujols is at 1:30 p.m. July 1 in Division 33 at the Johnson County Courthouse.
“He is most likely headed to prison,” Cheryl Cooper said. “I’m just really happy. I know that make it seems like I’m a horrible person, but they don’t understand what they have done to (Cooper’s) family.”
Michael Glover contributed information to this story.