Friday, February 23, 2018
Public safety

Autopsy refutes Riverview teen's story about girlfriend's death

RIVERVIEW — Josue Villagomez, 17, says his 18-year-old girlfriend shot herself in the chest, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. One problem with that story — Sara Gonzalez was shot in the back, according to the medical examiner.

The Hillsborough State Attorney's Office has charged Villagomez with second-degree murder in the killing of Gonzalez, who died after being shot about 11 p.m. Friday at 5219 Madison Lake Circle, the home in Madison Lake Estates Mobile Home Park where Villagomez and Gonzalez lived.

Villagomez initially said Gonzalez was shot by an unknown assailant who knocked on the front door, then fired when she opened it, according to the sheriff's office. Deputies said they found a Glock 9mm handgun and one shell casing in a crawl space under the mobile home. Villagomez then said Gonzalez shot herself in the chest with his gun during an argument, deputies said.

Villagomez was arrested Saturday on charges of tampering with evidence and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was convicted of burglary in 2010, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement records. On Sunday, the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office performed an autopsy and concluded Gonzalez had been shot once: The bullet entered her lower back and exited her chest, and there was no evidence of a close-contact wound. The State Attorney's Office filed the murder charge Wednesday.

Will Hobson can be reached at (813) 226-3400 or [email protected]

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