Meat Puppets Bassist Pleads Guilty, Faces Time For Assault

Cris Kirkwood hit security guard with baton during parking lot dispute.

Meat Puppets bassist Cris Kirkwood is looking at a two-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to an assault charge in a Phoenix courtroom Monday.

Kirkwood, 43, entered his plea in U.S. District Court, where he stood accused of assault with a dangerous weapon. The charge stemmed from an incident in December that left the bassist with a bullet in his belly after he hit a post office security guard (see "Meat Puppets' Cris Kirkwood Shot After Beating Security Guard").

Pursuant to a plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend a minimal sentence when Kirkwood is sentenced on July 26, probably around 27 months, according to a spokesperson for the U.S. attorney's office. He will also have to make restitution to the victim, the amount of which will be determined at sentencing.

If the case had gone to trial, Kirkwood could have faced up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the felony offense.

On December 26, Kirkwood was arguing with a woman over a parking spot at a downtown Phoenix post office when security guard Thomas R. Goodrum asked him to leave. As he was leaving, Kirkwood pushed Goodrum, who then drew his baton in self-defense. Kirkwood punched Goodrum, wrestled the baton away, and hit the guard in the head with it. Fearing for his safety, Goodrum drew his gun and shot Kirkwood in the abdomen. Kirkwood was hospitalized and underwent surgery.