Two Texas brothers and their friend are facing charges linked to the death of their stepfather, who allegedly sexually abused their nine-year-old sister.
Christian Trevino, 17, and Juan Eduardo Melendez, 18, are facing charges of capital murder, aggravated assault, and engaging in organized criminal activity, according to KSAT. Melendez also faces a marijuana possession charge and Christian’s brother, Alejandro, 18, is charged with aggravated assault and engaging in organized criminal activity.
The body of the Trevinos’ stepfather, Gabriel Quintanilla, 42, was found in a McAllen field on January 20, per KRGV. His body was discovered with “apparent severe blunt force trauma to his head,” Valley Central reports.
Police said that a minor, later identified as Quintanilla’s biological nine-year-old daughter, and the Trevinos’ half-sister, made an outcry that the 42-year-old had inappropriately touched her, KRGV reports.
“When brothers Alexandro 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,” the Pharr Police Department said in a news release, according to KRGV.
The altercation then left the household and continued in public, the outlet reports:
Police say Christian Trevino chased Quintanilla to an apartment complex down the road, where a second assault occurred involving Alexandro Trevino and the driver of a red Dodge Charger, identified as Juan Eduardo Melendez.
The three suspects then left the location, changed vehicles and drove back, where they found Quintanilla walking alone and injured, according to Pharr police.
Police say a third assault then occurred. Quintanilla was severely beaten with brass knuckles and suffered severe head trauma, police said.
Police said Quintanilla was then placed into the bed of a truck and transported to the McAllen field, where he was left. They noted he was possibly still alive when he was left there.
“Deputy Chief Juan Gonzalez said that Alexandro is not charged with capital murder because his brother and Melendez are the ones accused of dealing the fatal blows,” MyRGN reports.
“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, per KRGV.
A warrant was out for Quintanilla’s arrest regarding a separate incident for continuous sexual abuse of a minor, according to KRGV. “Pharr police first learned about Quintanilla in 2019, when a minor claimed Quintanilla sexually assaulted her between 2014 and 2016,” the outlet said.
The teens were arraigned Sunday.
Alejandro Trevino’s bond was set at $1,000,000, while his brother Christian’s bond was set at $1,500,000, MyRGN reports. The bond for Melendez was set at $1,502,000.