Man pleads guilty to shooting firearm

Published 10:15am Friday, July 5, 2013

A Texas man charged with firing a handgun toward his brother in April in Albert Lea pleaded guilty last week to the reckless use of a dangerous weapon, a misdemeanor.

Samuel Vallejo, 41, of Harker Heights, Texas, had previously faced an additional charge of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, but that charge was dismissed.

Samuel Vallejo
Samuel Vallejo

Freeborn County Attorney Craig Nelson said from his conversations with the man’s brother, it appeared Vallejo was just “fooling around with the gun” when it discharged.

“He was just being stupidly silly, and it didn’t help that he had been consuming alcohol,” Nelson said.

According to court documents, Vallejo and his brother were reportedly sitting in a Chevy Silverado pickup parked in front of 802 Valley Ave. just before 11:30 p.m. April 28 when they began arguing.

The brother told police he was looking ahead out of the truck when, without warning, a loud gunshot went off from Vallejo’s .380-caliber pistol, breaking a window and just missing him.

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. He was in Albert Lea on a family matter.

Freeborn County District Court Judge Ross Leuning sentenced Vallejo to 90 days in the Freeborn County jail. Because Vallejo has already served two-thirds of that time, he was released from the jail, where he had been since the incident. He is now back in Texas, Nelson said.