After considering a case that raised questions about vigilantism, a Texas grand jury declines to indict a young father who beat to death an older man he found sexually assaulting his 5-year-old.
Bringing to a close a story that dominated Father’s Day weekend, a Texas grand jury on Tuesday said a young father acted within the law when he used his fists to beat a man to death for sexually assaulting his 5-year-old daughter in a rural area near Shiner, Texas, on June 9.
While the outcome surprised few, the grand jury's decision appears to have been grounded as much on facts and the law as the more emotional question of whether the sexual assault itself justified revenge on the part of a father, legal experts say.
The grand jury, according to prosecutors, based its decision in part on a frantic 911 call by the father, which suggested that he did not intend to kill the man. The jurors also may have kept in mind a specific Texas law that allows use of deadly force when defending a victim against sexual assault.
While the father had not been arrested, the grand jury hearing was part of a homicide investigation into the death of the ranch hand, Jesus Flores, who was in his 40s. (The father's name has not been released to protect the identify of the young girl.)