200k call for release of teens arrested for ‘beating and killing’ stepfather who ‘inappropriately touched’ their 9-year-old sister

·2-min read

More than 200,000 people have signed a petition calling for the release two Texas brothers and their friend, after they allegedly beat and left their stepfather for dead after learning that he had “inappropriately touched” their 9-year-old half-sister.

Siblings Christian Trevino, 17 and Alejandro Trevino, 18, were arrested on Saturday, after their stepfather Gabriel Quintanilla, 43 was found dead in a field in McAllen. They are reportedly being held at the Hidalgo County Jail on a $1m bond.

“We ask that the state of Texas to release these teenagers, who could possibly spend the rest of their life in prison for protecting their sister,” Carlos Eduardo Espina, who created the petition page, wrote on Change.org.

“The three teenagers are currently in custody and have their bonds set at over one million dollars each. If convicted of capital murder, they face a minimum sentence of life imprisonment without parole.”

According to police, Quintanilla suffered head trauma and may have been alive when the brothers and their friend, Juan Melendez, 18, left him in an open field, after beating him with brass knuckles. They had allegedly learned that the stepfather had inappropriately touched their sibling.

Christian Trevino and Melendez were charged with capital murder, aggravated assault and engaging in organised criminal activity, as they allegedly kidnapped Quintanilla and removed personal items from the body.

Alejandro Trevino was charged with aggravated assault and engaging in organised criminal activity, he does not face capital murder charges as he ultimately didn’t strike the final blows.

Pharr Chief of Police, Andy Harvey, held a press conference on Tuesday and revealed that in a different case Gabriel Quintanilla had a warrant for arrest for the continuous sexual assault of a child between 2014-16. The assault was reported in May 201, but officers “were unable to find him,” according to Chief Harvey.

All suspects have cooperated in the police investigation, according to Chief Harvey.

The Independent has contacted the Pharr Police Department for further information and updates on the case.

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