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Charges: Minneapolis man claims he accidentally shot St. Paul man at Halloween gathering in Crystal

Charges say the autopsy contradicts the suspect's story.
angel benito villalva

A Minneapolis man accused of fatally shooting a 26-year-old St. Paul man during a Halloween gathering in Crystal over the weekend has been charged. 

Angel Villalva, 29, is charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Maricio Mata-Thelen

According to the criminal complaint, Crystal police were called to a home on the 5500 block of Yates Avenue North around 9 p.m. Saturday. 

Officers found Mata-Thelen lying on the floor, bleeding. He was pronounced dead soon after. 

A witness told police it was an accident, and the complaint says he and two other men in the house refused to tell police anything other than it was an accident. 

Later that night, Villalva went to the Bloomington Police Department and admitted he killed Mata-Thelen. He had a gun wrapped in a jacket. 

Villalva told police Mata-Thelen and the three other men came over to his house, charges state. He had a gun out and was trying to be "cool" when one of the men said the gun looked jammed. 

He said he removed the "clip" and banged the gun on the floor and against the wall when the gun went off, the complaint says. Villalva said Mata-Thelen was standing in front of him when the gun fired and he "just panicked and ran out of the house."

However, the complaint says the autopsy report contradicts Villalva's story because the bullet couldn't have entered the back of Mata-Thelen's neck had it ricocheted off the floor, and the ceiling tiles in the home are not strong enough to cause such a ricochet from the direction that Villalva described, charges state. 

The autopsy said the trajectory of the bullet was straight down from the base of Mata-Thelen's neck, passing through his lung, stomach and colon, according to the complaint. 

Villalva, who is in custody and is expected to make his first court appearance on Wednesday, has pending felony domestic assault and threats of violence charges out of Hennepin County. 

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