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January 10, 2011

Simon's agent: Witnesses will testify that the Orioles pitcher did not fire fatal shot

The agent for Orioles reliever Alfredo Simon said there are several witnesses in the Dominican Republic who are willing to come forward and testify that the pitcher could not have fired the fatal bullet that killed Simon’s 25-year-old cousin in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day.

Phil Isaac, one of Simon’s two American agents, spent the weekend in the Dominican talking to attorneys and others involved with the case and said he believes Simon was “quite a distance” away from the spot where his cousin, Michael Esteban Castillo Almonte, was killed.

“There are a few witnesses that will come forward that we have spoken to and that the attorneys have spoken to that will testify – if it comes to that – that under no circumstances whatsoever could Alfredo have fired the fatal shot,” said Isaac, who along with his brother, Alex, represents Simon.

That contention differs greatly from what a second victim in the shooting told a Dominican reporter last week. Starlin Castillo Hernandez, the 17-year-old half brother of Castillo Almonte who was shot in the right arm during the same incident, said Simon was not shooting in the air, as the pitcher’s attorneys suggest. Instead, Castillo Hernandez contends Simon was the shooter and it wasn’t an accident.

“If it's like he says, that he was firing into the air, then we must all have been sleeping,” the Dominican newspaper El Nacional reported Castillo Hernandez as saying last week.

However, Isaac said his side has additional information that could help lead to the release of his client, but would not offer specifics.

“We have looked at alternative pieces of evidence and other information pertaining to the situation that strongly favor Alfredo’s case and we expect that to come forward as the proceedings play out,” Isaac said.

Meanwhile, Simon, who was in a detention center for most of last week, has been moved to a prison in Puerto Plata. Isaac said the transfer was made because of overcrowding at the detention center and is not an indication of Simon’s involvement in the incident.

Simon has yet to be charged of a crime, but is considered the chief suspect in the death of Castillo Almonte and the shooting of Castillo Hernandez. He is awaiting the release of a ballistics report which could determine whether the gun that Simon turned over to authorities fired the fatal bullet.

Isaac said the ballistics report is expected to be released Tuesday and he believes it will show the bullet did not come from Simon’s gun. Simon’s Dominican attorney has said a preliminary report backs that theory, but the prosecution in the case has speculated that the 29-year-old Simon may have switched barrels of the gun before giving it to police.

Simon pitched in a career-high 49 games with the Orioles last year and led the team with 17 saves. He was slated for a middle relief role in 2011.

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Posted by Dan Connolly at 11:56 AM | | Comments (11)


Love Phil Isaac for being a pro-active supporter of Alfredo Simon! Atypical in that line of work!

Good article guys!

If he didn't do fire the gun, why would he attempt to bribe the mother of the victim? Looks like some of these witnesses may have been bribed.

Tony, were you aware that Alberto Simon was so close to the Castillo family that he paid the burial costs for another Castillo brother 5 years ago after that brother was killed in a car accident?

Bribe is a pretty strong word! the mother of Michael Castillo has been holding her hand out almost from the beginning! She talked about how Michael had recently returned to the DR and that he was going to support the family?

She was setting up the scenario whereby the family would demand money from Alfredo.

who writes is exactly the same place where the events occurred, Luperon, and I can say that the shots were fired into the air simon and a very different direction to where the dead person appeared, and the late Simon also were friends to the point that simon moments commanded him to purchase or to share wiskis

where did you find out he tired to bribe the mother of the victim??? and if the mother even accepted that bribe, how would that get him out of the incident? Police gonna not investigate cuz the victims mom said no leave him alone...????

Good call iowagyrl, its refreshing to have someone actually insert facts in the discussion instead of immediately making unsupported assertions of bribery and the like.

“If it's like he says, that he was firing into the air, then we must all have been sleeping,” the Dominican newspaper El Nacional reported Castillo Hernandez as saying last week.

I'm wondering how valid this statement would hold in court if the defense can prove the witness had one too many drinks on the night of the incident.

If he was too drunk to pass a viable judgement when the shooting happened, wouldn't his testimony become invalid? Curious....

Hardball Times linked an article a few days ago where the mother stated that Simon tried to bribe the family. So it does exist.
Try doing a little research instead of accusing someone of "unsupported assertions."

Here's a link in Spanish:

Simon is obviously guilty. Let him rot in prison for the rest of his life.

Here's a better link Mr Google Searcher

As for commentary, I still have no idea what happened down there. I don't understand the bribery aspect in all this! Why would Simon do that? As far as ball players go, he isn't making that much money. If he's guilty, he's not going to be making any money at all, he will be in jail for a long time. Also, he doesn't seem like the type of fellow who's deliberate enough to do something like this. I would think a lot of people would notice if someone 6'4 or 6'6 250+ lbs is pointing a gun at them or at someone. I would think Simon stands out down there. Like I said before, let justice be done. Someone lost a son and family member down there. I would like to see this resolved and the right person brought to justice.

Alberto Simon is very well known in that area. There are witnesses who can and will testify that he wasn't the person who killed Michael Castillo.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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