Preliminary ballistic report could clear Simon (updated)

While Orioles pitcher Alfredo Simon remains in police custody tonight in Santiago, Dominican Republic, his agent says that a preliminary ballistic report shows that the bullet that killed a 25-year-old man on New Year's Eve doesn't match the reliever's gun.

Phil Isaac of the Para Sports Group just passed along the news in a text message.

Meanwhile, one of Simon's lawyers, Carlos Olivares, told CNN that "The ballistics tests have been favorable. We are waiting for the formal report."

Simon turned in his gun yesterday and met with law enforcement officials. A judge has ordered that Simon be held for up to a year, a decision that was expected to bring an appeal from the reliever's lawyers.

Simon's cousin, Michael Esteban Castillo Almonte, was killed in the shooting, which Simon claimed was an accident. Starlin Castillo Hernandez, 17, was shot in the right arm.

Simon has insisted that he fired shots into the air as part of the New Year's Eve celebration in Luperón.

Hernandez told reporters that Simon fired the shots that wounded him and killed his half brother, according to this story in The Sun.

My assumption is that Simon will remain in custody while the Forensic Sciences Institute in Santiago conducts further ballistic tests on the weapon.

The Orioles continue to decline comment as long as Simon hasn't been charged with a crime.

Update: These ballistic tests could be completed by the end of the week, though some reports suggest they could take months. Also, I wanted to point out that Simon is being held in a Correctional Prevention Center, not a jail. He isn't behind bars, but he's not free to leave the facility.

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