Small Texas community stands by man who killed daughter’s alleged abuser
Shiner, Texas (CNN) – Shiner is a place you can raise your cattle and chickens under the hot Texas sun, cool off with a bottle from the Lone Star State’s oldest independent brewery, then go to bed knowing all your neighbors and believing that you’ll be safe.
But a few days ago, one of its trademark ranches turned into a crime scene. That’s when a father spotted a man sexually assaulting his 5-year-old daughter, then beat the alleged abuser to death.
In a community that prides itself as being peaceful, a place where things like this just don’t happen, there is a sweeping consensus that justice was served.
“Any father would have done that,” Michael James Veit, whose son graduated with the father from Shiner High School in 2007 and who now lives across the road from the ranch where the killing took place, said Thursday. “Everybody is saying the father is justified.”
According to the Lavaca County Sheriff’s Office, the 23-year-old father and his family were enjoying a barbecue last Saturday at their ranch on Shiner’s outskirts where they keep horses and chickens.
His young daughter had gone off toward the barn, to feed the chickens, the child’s grandfather — who isn’t being named, to protect the identity of his granddaughter — told CNN affiliates KSAT and KPRC.
Then her father heard screaming and ran. He found a 47-year-old man in the act of sexually abusing his daughter, according to Sheriff Mica Harmon.
The father stopped the alleged abuser, then pounded him repeatedly in the head.
“I jumped the fence and saw the man on the ground,” the grandfather said of what he first saw. “At that point, I didn’t know if he was dead or not.”
Authorities did, in fact, pronounce the alleged abuser dead. Lavaca County Precinct Judge Alene Lyons said Monday that a preliminary autopsy report shows he “died from blunt-force head and neck injuries,” adding toxicology report results should be back in six weeks.
Harmon described the victim as an acquaintance of the family, known for his horse-grooming abilities. He has not been publicly identified by authorities.
The father himself called 911, telling them that his daughter’s alleged abuser was lying, beaten, on the ground. Afterward, the sheriff said that the admitted killer appeared “very remorseful” and didn’t know the other man would die at the scene.
Asked whether authorities would press charges against the father, the sheriff responded, “You have a right to defend your daughter. He acted in defense of his third person. Once the investigation is completed, we will submit it to the district attorney, who then submits it to the grand jury, who will decide if they will indict him.”
Neighbors portrayed the father as hard-working, friendly and polite, the type of guy who reliably addresses others as “Sir.”
“He’s not a violent guy. He’s never been in any trouble in his life,” Veit said of a man he described as a single father who worked nobly to make ends meet. “He’s a good, honest, hard-working kid.”
Most any violence is unexpected in Shiner, a community between Houston and San Antonio that has about 2,000 people within its city limits and another 1,500 or so on its outskirts, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Billing itself as the “Cleanest Little City in Texas,” Shiner is known for the Spoetzl Brewery, a wire and plastics company, not to mention its acres upon acres of plains and farms. Veit calls it “a small-town community,” filled with folks who may not be wealthy but who work hard and look out for one another.
“Nothing ever happens. There’s never any murders here,” Veit said. “Everybody knows everybody and gets along with everybody. (This killing) is a real big shock.”
Dad who beat daughter’s molester to death won’t be charged
By Douglas Stanglin, USA TODAY Jun 20, 2012
A grand jury has decided not to charge a young Texas man who beat to death an assailant who was molesting his 5-year-old daughter.
“Under the law, deadly force is justified to stop a sexual assault. … All the evidence indicated that is what was occurring,” District Attorney Heather McMinn told reporters Wednesday,The San Antonio Express-News reports.
In a dramatic 911 call during the June 9 incident, the 23-year-old father, clearly distraught, has trouble giving directions to his father’s ranch near the town of Shiner, Texas.
“I need an ambulance. This guy was raping my daughter and I beat him up and I don’t know what to do,” he tells the dispatcher.
“This guy is fixing to die on me man, and I don’t know what to do,” he says.
The call ends as emergency teams arrived, but the alleged assailant, Jesus Mora Flores, 47, was already dead from head injuries, the newspaper says.
The Express-News, the Associated Press and other news media have declined to name the father in order to protect the identity of a victim of a sexual assault.
Authorities say a witness saw Flores “forcibly carrying” the girl into a secluded area. The witness then ran to find the father.
Running toward his daughter’s screams, investigators said, the father pulled Flores off his child and “inflicted several blows to the man’s head and neck area,” the AP reports.
Although the father was never arrested, the killing was investigated as a homicide, the AP reports.
The father’s attorney, V’Anne Huser, called her client “a peaceable soul and he had no intention to kill anyone on that day,” The Express-News reports.
Authorities says forensic evidence and witness accounts corroborated the father’s story that his daughter was being sexually molested.
Submitted by Otis Youngblood III