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Orioles pitcher Simon sent to preventive prison for killing a man
PUERTO PLATA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (BNO NEWS) -- Baltimore Orioles pitcher Alfredo Simon on Tuesday was sent to a year in preventive prison over the murder allegations against him, Hoy newspaper reported.
The Puerto Plata Court determined to sent Simon to prison meanwhile the charges against him are resolved. Simon is accused of killing a young neighbor and injuring another during New Year's festivities.
The Orioles relief pitcher claims to be innocent of the murder charges against him. The 29-year-old pitcher surrendered himself to Dominican authorities during the morning. He said he shot bullets to the air and never towards a person.
"That boy was just like a brother to me. I should not have to surrender but here I am in order to clarify the incident," said Simon as he entered the police headquarters.
The charges allege that Simon fatally shot Michael Castillo Almonte, 25, in the chest and also injured Starlin Castillo, 17, in Luperon, northeastern Dominican Republic. Simon was wanted by the national police.
Simon was accompanied to the police headquarters by Orioles teammate shortstop Julio Lugo. Simon's attorney, Carlos Olivares, said that they would appeal the court's decision as there is no risk of Simon fleeing the country.
"He is scared as he acknowledged shooting some bullets to the air, not to the victim, who was his friend," said Lugo. "We don’t know if he is guilty or not. I advised him to surrender."
Police said that in less than 48 hours the lab analysis will return and will determine if the bullets were fired using Simon's weapon. Initially, prosecutors demanded three months of preventive prison but later it was extended to one year.
Prosecutors said that apparently there was an argument between two women and Simon tried to stop it. He fired a bullet that passed through the 17-year-old boy's arm and ended in the victim's chest cavity.
There are allegedly many witnesses of the incident as it took place in a Luperon public park. If found guilty, Simon could receive a sentence of up to two years in prison as well as irreparable damage to his rising baseball career.
Simon was the Orioles closer during the last season. He saved 17 games and had a 4-2 winning record. It was Simon's third complete season in the Major Leagues.
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