WILKES-BARRE – A Hazleton man charged with shooting and killing another man in February was arraigned on a single count of criminal homicide Thursday.
Adamis Arias, 21, of Seybert Street, entered a plea of not guilty in a case in which prosecutors say he shot and killed 19-year-old Angel Villalobos during an argument about money.
County Judge David Lupas said he will soon schedule a trial date, likely to be late in the year.
According to court papers, on Feb. 23 police were called to West Maple Street for a report of two victims who had been shot.
Villalobos was taken to the Hazleton General Hospital where he died from multiple gunshot wounds.
Police learned that Arias might have been involved in the shooting because of an argument. Witnesses allegedly heard Arias say “Where is my money?” just prior to the shooting.
A second victim, who is not named in court papers, indicated that Arias was the shooter and provided a description of Arias that was similar to those provided by other witnesses.
An ex-girlfriend of Villalobos told police Villalobos and Arias had a previous argument about money.
The following day, a woman contacted police with information about Arias’ whereabouts. She indicated Arias was staying at a home on North Grant Street, but that she had not seen him in three days.
A landlord told police that Arias was staying at the home with another man, and that Arias called the landlord while police were there asking why he was talking with police.
Police received information about Arias’ location and that a vehicle, owned by Arias’ mother, pulled up to a James Street residence.
Police said they observed Arias walk toward the vehicle. When he noticed police, he fled on foot, police said. He was apprehended soon after.
In an interview with police, Arias said he was on Maple Street at the time of the shooting and that he did speak with Villalobos.
Arias said when gunshots were fired he ran, going to New York that night and returning to Hazleton the following morning.
Arias allegedly said it is “all over Facebook” that he shot Villalobos, and that he would tell investigators what they wanted after he got an attorney.
A woman, identified as Arias’ girlfriend, told police that during their trip to New York, she noticed shell casings from a gun in Arias’ hand.
The woman said she later asked Arias if he shot Villalobos, to which Arias allegedly replied “maybe.”