Controversy is brewing in Shiner Texas over a 23-year old man who killed the man he found molesting his five-year old daughter in a barn. To date, the man hasn’t been arrested and some legal experts are questioning why he is still free. They argue that vigilante justice can’t be condoned, no matter what the circumstances.
A grand jury in Texas has been called to look into the case and the circumstances of the killing, to determine if the father was justified. He didn’t use a weapon, only his fists, but he was so furious that he beat the man until he was dead.
“Assuming it’s true that this guy was molesting the daughter … he would then have the right to defend her and hit him enough to have him stop,” James Harrington, director of the Texas Civil Rights Project, told Foxnews.com. “But you cannot summarily execute him, even though I can understand the anger he would have.”
The question being asked now is when the defense excuse is no longer valid.
“If he had a weapon and he used it to stop a s****l assault, he would not be indicted, but, ironically, the fact that he didn’t have a weapon leaves him more legally vulnerable than otherwise he would be,” Geraldo Rivera said. “In this case, you grab him off, now you’ve stopped the s****l assault, but now what are you doing? At what point does prevention of the s*x assault become revenge, the implementation of vigilante justice?”
Public opinion is behind the father in the case, with many parents saying they would do the same to protect their child.
“Any father would have done that,” Michael James Veit, a neighbor, told CNN. “Everybody is saying the father is justified.”
The incident took place last Saturday, according to Lacava County Sheriff Micah Harmon. The man’s daughter had gone to the barn to feed the family chickens, when she started to scream. When the father came to find out what was going on, he saw a family friend sexually abusing the girl. Names have not yet been released to protect the victim.
The man died from blunt force trauma to the head and neck. Police on the scene felt that they had no reason to arrest the father and that he was remorseful that he killed the man.
“It wasn’t his intent [to kill anybody]. He was protecting his daughter and doing what he thought he had to do to protect his daughter,” said the Sheriff.