Brothers Arrested For Fatally Beating Suspected Sex Offender

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After a 9-year-old girl accused a man of a heinous crime, the little girl’s big brothers weren’t about to let him get away with his offenses. However, police say the young men took things too far in their endeavor to avenge their little sister.

After their little sister accused their step-father, 42-year-old Gabriel Quintanilla, of molesting her, two brothers and a family friend took action. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Texas authorities arrested three teens after the body of 42-year-old Gabriel Quintanilla was found in a field in McAllen. Pharr police said that 17-year-old Alejandro Trevino, 17-year-old Christian Trevino, and 18-year-old Juan Eduardo Melendez had beaten the man to death over an accusation that he had inappropriately touched a 9-year-old girl, who is the half-sister of two of the young men.

Police said the teens heard that the little girl had accused Quintanilla of molesting her in a local RV park. After hearing this, the two brothers headed to confront the man, who is the girl’s biological father but a step-father to them, KSAT reports.

“When brothers [Alejandro] and Christian Trevino found out, they became enraged and confronted Gabriel Quintanilla at the residence. A physical fight ensued between the three and the victim Quintanilla left the location on foot,” according to a news release from the Pharr Police Department.

Gabriel Quintanilla
(Left to right) Alejandro Trevino, 17; Christian Trevino, 17; and Juan Eduardo Melendez, 18, have been charged in the death of 42-year-old Gabriel Quintanilla. (Photo Credit: Hidalgo County Court)

Detectives say that after a physical altercation, Christian chased Quintanilla to a nearby apartment complex, where the man encountered a family friend, Melendez, who also physically engaged him. The three suspects then left the complex, changed vehicles from a red Dodge Charger to a pickup truck, and returned to find Quintanilla walking alone and injured.

The brothers reportedly exited the vehicle and beat Quintanilla again, this time using brass knuckles. Police said the man suffered severe head trauma during the assault. The young men then placed him in the bed of the truck before dumping him in a local field. Investigators believe Quintanilla was still alive when the suspects left him. The body was later discovered by a farmer.

“This investigation was complex having multiple scenes. I am proud of how our detectives were able to put the pieces together in such a short time,” Pharr police Chief Andy Harvey said in a statement.

Gabriel Quintanilla
Police said the teens severely beat Gabriel Quintanilla before dumping him in a field where he later died. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Melendez was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, murder, engaging in organized criminal activity, and possession of marijuana. Christian was charged with aggravated assault, murder, and engaging in organized criminal activity. Alejandro was only charged with aggravated assault and engaging in organized criminal activity because it is believed that the other two suspects dealt the fatal blows to Quintanilla.

After the suspects were taken into custody, a petition was published to request the release of the three suspects. Very quickly, hundreds of thousands of supporters signed it with many hoping that the public outcry would convince the justice system to have sympathy for the young men for “protecting their sister.”

Hundreds of thousands of people signed a petition requesting the teens’ release. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Gabriel Quintanilla had a warrant out for his arrest for an unrelated case involving the continuous sexual abuse of a child as well as assault of a family member. All three suspects cooperated with investigators and gave “full statements” about their involvement. Still, the public response was widely in support of the three young men. Likewise, many have expressed outrage that the police couldn’t find Quintanilla even though he had a warrant for child sexual abuse for several years prior to his death.

Christian, Alejandro, or Melendez maintain that they were merely responding to the accusation of sexual abuse made by the young girl. They have made no other excuses for their actions. Tragically, vengeance was left in the hands of three young men who simply wanted justice for an innocent little girl.