Questions Arise Over Legality Of Father Killing Daughter’s Molester

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This past Sunday in Lavaca County, Texas, a father witnessed his daughter being sexually assaulted and then beat the molester to death. Now questions have arisen as to how this should be handled.

The father and daughter were at their barn with several other people to groom and care for the horses that reside there. After hearing his daughter scream from behind the barn, the father ran to help his daughter who was allegedly being sexually assaulted. The father then hit the alleged molester in the head several times (with his bare hands – no weapons involved), eventually killing him.

The father placed the first call to 911.

Sheriff Micah Harmon, who said it is unlikely the father will be arrested, said the father told him “it wasn’t his intent for this individual to lose his life; he was just protecting his daughter.”

District Attorney Heather McMinn told that the case remains under investigation, and that the results “will be forwarded to the district attorney’s office and it will be taken to a grand jury.”

This begs the question: What would you do if you walked up to see your daughter being sexually assaulted?

Neighbors of the father, whose name has not been released, seemed to think the killing was justified. “He got what he deserved, big time,” one local told the Victoria Advocate newspaper. Another, Mark Harabis, said, “I agree with him totally. I would probably do worse. The family will have to deal with that the rest of their lives, no matter what happens to the father.”

One man doesn’t necessarily agree with those sentiments.

James Harrington, director of the Texas Civil Rights Project, an Austin-based nonprofit group, questioned the father’s decision to “summarily execute” the alleged molester without due process.

“Assuming it’s true that this guy was molesting the daughter, and we don’t know what exactly happened at this point, he would then have the right to defend [her], and hit him enough to have him stop,” Harrington told “But you cannot summarily execute him, even though I can understand the anger he would have.”

Without specific knowledge of the case, Harrington said he was “surprised” that the girl’s father had not been already charged.

Harrington continued: “The question is: When does it move beyond self-defense?”

A grand jury would have a very tough time indicting this man in any state, but Hot Air points out that a relevant statute in the state’s penal code clears the man.

(a) A person is justified in using deadly force against another:

(1) if the actor would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.31; and

(2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:

(A) to protect the actor against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force; or

(B) to prevent the other’s imminent commission of aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery…

(c) A person who has a right to be present at the location where the deadly force is used, who has not provoked the person against whom the deadly force is used, and who is not engaged in criminal activity at the time the deadly force is used is not required to retreat before using deadly force as described by this section.”

In the wake of the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case, one would think this could create a large amount of ‘hoopla’. But unlike that case, there is no real support for the victim in the picture as authorities’ efforts to find the victim’s family, who has close ties to Mexico, have been unsuccessful.

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