Giants infield prospect Angel Villalona has been freed on bond but will still face murder charges in the Dominican Republic stemming from a Sept. 19 shooting. Villalona, 19, turned himself in to authorities 12 hours after the incident at a bar in La Romana, where Mario Felix de Jesus Velete was killed. The 25-year-old victim's family asked a judge to drop the case, prompting Villalona's release. Villalona would have spent two months in jail while attorneys organized their case. ESPNDeportes.com reported that Villalona reached a monetary settlement of approximately $139,000 with de Jesus Velete's family.
But prosecutor Jose Antonio Polanco still plans to prosecute Villalona, who signed a $2.1 million bonus in August 2006. "The judge accepted the decision of the family ... but we intend to follow through on this charge," Polanco told the Associated Press. The Giants have refused to comment on Villalona's case. He could face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty. Police have not divulged a motive for the shooting. Signed as a third baseman but moved to first base, Villalona was selected for the World Team in the 2008 XM All-Star Futures Game at Yankee Stadium. Before this season, Baseball America rated him as the Giants' third-best prospect behind left-hander Madison Bumgarner and catcher Buster Posey. Villalona hit .267 with nine home runs and 42 RBIs in 74 games with San Jose this year before being shut down in early July with a quadriceps injury.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.