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11/13/09 7:42 PM ET
Villalona has U.S. visa revoked
Giants prospect accused of murder can't enter country
By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com
Angel Villalona, a top prospect for the San Francisco Giants, has been stripped of his U.S. visa after he was charged with killing a man in his Caribbean homeland, The Associated Press reported Friday. Pablo Peguero, the Giants' representative for Latin America, told the AP that Villalona, 19, can't join the team in the United States because the U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic has revoked his visa. According to the report, Dominican prosecutor Jose Antonio Polanco said Tuesday that Villalona offered the family of the man he allegedly killed nearly $140,000 to drop the case against him. He alleged the first baseman paid $55,000 and expected to offer another $83,000. Polanco said the family viewed the payment as compensation for the killing of 25-year-old Mario Felix de Jesus Velete. Villalona, who has pleaded innocent to the murder charge, has declined to speak to reporters. The family has also declined to comment. Police said 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. Villalona was released last week on $14,000 bail after the family issued a statement saying it had accepted the money, Polanco told the AP. A Dominican judge is expected to hear the case in about a month. Villalona, who received a $2.1 million signing bonus in his 2006 deal with the Giants, hit .267 with nine home runs and 42 RBIs in 74 games for Class A San Jose this season.
Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.