Saturday night, a 25-year-old man named Mario Felix de Jesus Velete was shot to death in the Dominican Republic. Earlier today, a suspect, 19-year-old Angel Villalona, voluntarily turned himself in to local police. The fact that Villalona is a person of interest in this case is noteworthy because he is a person of interest to this blog, a top Baseball America prospect (#33 in 2008, #44 in 2009) two years running.
Villalona made his professional debut at the age of 16 with the AZL Giants in 2007 before finishing the season with the short-season Salem-Keizer Volcanoes just after his 17th birthday. The next year he moved up to the South Atlantic League and hit seventeen homeruns, earning another promotion, to the California League. He appeared in 74 games for the San Jose Giants this season before his season ended prematurely in July.
According to the AP, “Villalona will appear in court on Monday and could face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty” of the murder. If this was the United States, I could see some sort of deal being worked out (depending on the circumstances); not knowing anything about the criminal justice system in the Dominican Republic, however, it’s hard to say what sort of punishment Villalona might actually be facing.