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Crime & Courts

Tampa man accused in attempted murder of estranged wife


Published:   |   Updated: May 20, 2013 at 05:19 AM

A malfunctioning handgun kept a woman's estranged husband from shooting her in the chest early Sunday morning, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

About 1:30 a.m. Sunday, Julio Enrique Villanueva-Vasquez, 44, was outside of his estranged wife's Preston Court home, an arrest report said. While outside, Villanueva-Vasquez punctured the tires of a male friend who was visiting, deputies said.

At some point Villanueva-Vasquez tried to break into the home by prying open the door, investigators said. The woman, whose identity was not released, heard the noise and went to a window and found Villanueva-Vasquez, wearing a black ski mask, crouching down, she told deputies.

She opened the door and attempted to take a picture of Villanueva-Vasquez, but he rushed her, pushing her inside the house, investigators said. As the two struggled, Villanueva-Vasquez took a handgun from his waist area and attempted to fire it into her chest, deputies said. The gun malfunctioned and did not fire.

Villanueva-Vasquez racked the slide twice more, deputies said, and attempted to fire two more times. Again, the gun failed to fire. The victim suffered a cut on her face, the report said.

Villanueva-Vasquez was arrested just after 7 a.m. at his home, 10202 Westbranch Court, and faces charges of attempted felony murder, burglary of a dwelling with assault or battery, violation of domestic violence injunction and criminal mischief.
 
Bail was withheld on the first three charges, while $500 bail was set on the final count.

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