DomRep prosecutor: Villalona offered family $140K
A top prospect for the San Francisco Giants offered the family of a man he allegedly killed nearly $140,000 so they would drop the case against him, a prosecutor said on Tuesday. Angel Villalona has already paid the family $55,000 and expects to offer another $83,000, prosecutor Jose Antonio Polanco told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "The family ... has behaved in an embarrassing manner because they now say that Villalona is not even the person involved in the death," he said. "But the prosecution ... will continue to pursue this case." The family had viewed the payment as compensation for the killing of 25-year-old Mario Felix de Jesus Velete, he said. The victim's mother, Eufemia Gregoria Velete, could not be reached for comment. Police say Villalona turned himself in 12 hours after the Sept. 19 bar shooting in La Romana. He could face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty. He was released last Friday on $14,000 bail after the family issued a statement saying it had accepted the money, Polanco said. A judge was expected to hear the case in about a month, Polanco said. Villalona, 19, was signed by the Giants in 2006 and received a $2.1 million signing bonus. The first baseman played in 74 games with Class-A San Jose this season, batting .267 with nine home runs and 42 RBIs. Baseball America chose him as the Giants' top prospect before the 2008 season, and he was selected for the Futures Game during All-Star festivities that year.