Texan charged with assault in shooting

Published 10:46am Wednesday, May 1, 2013

ALBERT LEA — A 41-year-old Texas man was charged in Freeborn County District Court on Tuesday for allegedly firing a handgun toward his brother on Sunday in Albert Lea.

Samuel Vallejo, of Harker Heights, Texas, faces one count of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, a felony, and one count of recklessly handling or using a dangerous weapon, a misdemeanor.

Albert Lea police had recommended an attempted murder charge, but no charges of this kind were filed.

Court documents state Vallejo was in Albert Lea on Sunday with other family members to visit his grandmother, but she had died earlier in the day at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester.

Later in the day, the family reportedly went to 802 Valley Ave. in Albert Lea, the home of his grandfather, and Vallejo and some of the other family members began drinking.

Vallejo and his brother were seated inside a Chevy Silverado pickup parked in front of the house when they began arguing, court documents state. The brother told police he was looking ahead out of the truck when, without warning, a loud gunshot went off, breaking a window and just missing him.

He said Vallejo had been “fumbling around” with a .380-caliber pistol prior to the shooting and that Vallejo had been saying to him that he needed to stop telling him what to do.

After the alleged shot, the two men reportedly got out of the pickup and were yelling back and forth at each other.

Police were alerted to the incident just before 11:30 p.m. Sunday, after receiving a 911 call of a gunshot in the area.

When officers arrived, Vallejo reportedly said on on several occasions that “it was his fault and that he had screwed up,” according to reports.

In an interview with a police detective, Vallejo allegedly acknowledged shooting the gun and said it was likely he had consumed a six-pack of Bud Light beer prior to the argument.

In court on Tuesday, Judge Ross Leuning ordered Vallejo be held on a $75,000 unconditional bail or $25,000 with conditions. Conditions included having no contact with the alleged victim, not possessing or using alcohol or mood-altering chemicals, complying with random testing, not possessing firearms, making all future court appearances and signing a waiver of extradition.

Second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison and a $14,000 fine. The second charge carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail or a $1,000 fine.

Vallejo’s next court appearance is slated for May 9.


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