After the original news broke out, it appeared by all reports that Villalona was obviously guilty for killing some guy who wouldn't leave the all important club VIP area. So, just like athletes do in this country, guns were involved. Too bad Villalona didn't get to know Stephen Jackson first. Then he could've just "dumped", which according to Jackson means, "take out your gun and shoot (into the air)."
That is neither here nor there.
Andrew Baggarly among others, reported yesterday that Villalona was out free on bail. Not only that, but the “judge accepted the decision of the deceased’s family to withdraw the charge.”
Although, the charges have not officially been dropped, as Baggarly suggests in so many words... good luck finding any witnesses-- which is actually a quick departure from his November 8th report that there were 3 witnesses. Guess why?
He bought his freedom.
Just like I suggested here (to mixed reviews) on September 20th:
"The corruption angle could work well or horribly for Villalona in this scenario.
Scenario #1: Villalona hires the best lawyer in the country, pays off a couple magistrates and politicians, and gets off on a self-defense ruling. Everyone's happy."
What I didn't think about was that he could just pay off the family and the witnesses! Man, that's gotta be so much easier than paying off government officials! Who was I kidding?
Truthfully, assuming Villalona is guilty, this is a gross miscarriage of justice in terms of the common moral scale that most of us share-- you know, the Ten Commandments and state and local laws... all that stuff?
However, in countries such as the D.R., there generally is no such thing-- or the contrast between laws for the rich and poor is so great, that they are basically two completely different standards.
And that $150,000 that Villalona paid the victim's family? It was probably the equivalent of 10-15 years worth (or more) of that family's annual income. Not to say that they are intentionally profiteering from their son's murder, but this probably represents a whole new life or opportunities for them, and I doubt that this type of thing is uncommon in such a poor, corrupt country. We don't have to accept what happened down there, but we need to recognize that things work differently.
As for On-Hell and his Giant aspirations, it looks like the ball is starting to roll his way. If indeed these charges disappear, he will have escaped by the hair of his chinny chin chin and hopefully will learn from this-- ideally rededicating himself to the game and his professional development.
Will you root for him if/when he makes it to the majors?