Murder charge in Crystal home shooting

Tuesday,

A Minneapolis man was charged with murder and manslaughter in a Saturday night shooting in Crystal, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

Angel Villalva, 29, was charged with second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of 26-year-old Maricio Mata-Thelen. He is expected to make his first court appearance Wednesday.

According to the criminal complaint, Crystal Police were called to a home in the 5500 block of Yates Avenue North about 9 p.m. Saturday night. When they arrived, James Paredes Jr. motioned for them to come inside and told the officers it was an accident. Police found Mata-Thelen lying on the floor, bleeding and he was pronounced dead at 9:15 p.m.

Paredes and two other men in the house refused to tell police anything other than it was an accident. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s autopsy found that the bullet that killed Mata-Thelen traveled downward from the neck, through a lung and the stomach/colon before stopping on the left side of his abdomen near the hip, the complaint states.

Later in the evening, Villalva walked into the Bloomington Police Department and admitted killing Mata-Thelen. He had a gun wrapped in a jacket and after it was unwrapped police saw it was a Kimber .45-caliber Ultra Carry 2 semi-automatic handgun, according to the complaint.

Villalva told police that Mata-Thelen, Parades and the other two man came over to his residence. Villalva had the gun out and was trying to impress the other men when one of them said the gun looked jammed. Villalva said he had removed the gun’s magazine and began banging the gun on the floor and against the wall while his finger was inside the trigger guard but not on the trigger, but all of the banging may have caused him to pull the trigger, the complaint states.

However, the bullet removed from Mata-Thelen, the autopsy report and examination of the room where the shooting occurred contradicts Villalva’s story, according to the complaint. The bullet could not have entered the neck and traveled downward with a ricochet off the floor. The ceiling tiles are not strong enough to cause a ricochet from that direction and Villalva said he thought the shot went downward, not upward leaving the likely possibly that someone was pointing the gun at Mata-Thelen from slightly above him.   

Criminal Complaint (PDF)