230,000 sign petition to release brothers 'arrested for killing stepdad who abused sister'
Along with their friend, the two brothers allegedly beat their stepdad to death with brass knuckles
More than 200,000 people have signed a petition demanding that two brothers be released from prison after they allegedly beat their stepdad to death over claims he sexually abused their half sister.
Christian and Alejandro Trevino, 17 and 18 respectively, and their friend and alleged accomplice Juan Eduardo Melendez, 18, were arrested for the brutal killing of Gabriel Quintanilla, 42, last Thursday, and have had their bond set at $1m.
Christian Trevino and Melendez, who are accused of delivering the fatal blows, were charged with capital murder, aggravated assault and engaging in organised criminal activity, whilst Alejandro Trevino was charged with aggravated assault and engaging in organised criminal activity.
However in the space of just two days, 230,000 people have signed a petition calling for their release.
"We ask that the state of Texas to release these teenagers, who could possibly spend the rest of their life in prison for protecting their sister," said Carlos Eduardo Espina on Change.org - the man who started the petition.
"The three teenagers are currently in custody and have their bonds set at over 1 million dollars each. If convicted of capital murder, they face a minimum sentence of life imprisonment without parole."
The brothers became enraged when their nine-year-old half sister claimed that Quintanilla had touched her inappropriately at an RV park.
They then went to confront their stepfather at their home.
The Pharr police said a fight ensued between the three men before Quintanilla took off, running away.
Police believe that Christian Trevino chased Quintanilla to a nearby apartment complex, where a second assault occurred involving the three suspects. Melendez is accused of driving Alejandro Trevino to the second assault in a red Dodge Charger.
Police also believe the three suspects then left Quintanilla and drove away, changing vehicles to a white Ford F-150 before driving back to look for Quintanilla, who they subsequently found walking alone and injured. The three then assaulted the man a third time, using brass knuckles and causing severe head trauma, according to reports from San Antonio Express News.
Quintanilla was thrown into the flatbed of a pickup truck before the defendants abandoned his body in a field in the McAllen area of Texas. Police say he may have been alive when the brothers and their pal dumped his body.
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