Baltimore Orioles Pitcher Beats Murder Rap

Pitcher was alleged to have fired shots during celebration of New Year

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    Baltimore Orioles pitcher Alfredo Simon was acquitted of accidentally killing his childhood pal.

    Baltimore Orioles pitcher Alfredo Simon was acquitted of murdering a childhood friend in a shooting during a New Year's celebration.

    A three-judge panel in the Dominican Republic acquitted Simon of the involuntary murder, a charge not contained in U.S. penal codes, in the death of Michell Esteban Castillo, 25, on Jan. 1. Castillo was killed and his cousin was injured when someone fired celebratory gunshots in Simon's hometown of Luperon.

    Prosecutors claimed Simon, who       , bribed witnesses to back off earlier statements identifying him as the shooter. Prosecutors plan to appeal the verdict.

    It was unclear if Simon fired the shots in the air or at a group of people which included the victims.

    Simon, 30, went 4-9 with a 4.90 earned run average for the Orioles last season, while under the cloud of charges.