More than 200,000 people have signed a petition to demand that two brothers are freed after they were charged with murder and had their bond set at $1million for reportedly killing their stepfather when they found out he was raping their nine-year-old half-sister.
In just two days, 204,000 signatures were collected to call for the release of Christian and Alejandro Trevino, 17 and 18, and their friend and alleged accomplice Juan Eduardo Melendez, 18, from the Hidalgo County Jail.
Christian, Alejandro and Juan were arrested by the Pharr Police Department in Pharr on Saturday for the brutal killing of Gabriel Quintanilla, 42, last Thursday.
The Trevino brothers are said to be half-brothers from the same father.
‘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,’ Carlos Eduardo Espina, who started the petition, wrote on Change.org.
‘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 Pharr Police Department said Quintanilla was beaten with brass knuckles and thrown into the flatbed of a pickup truck before the defendants abandoned his body in a McAllen field.
Quintanilla suffered head trauma and police say he may have been alive when the brothers and their pal dumped his body.
The incident unfolded when the Trevino brothers went looking for Quintanilla at a RV park residence after they had learned that he had allegedly inappropriately touched their sibling.
The Pharr police said a fight ensued between the three men before Quintanilla took off running.
Authorities say Christian Trevino ran after Quintanilla and cornered him in an apartment complex. Alejandro Trevino was joined by Melendez in the second beating of Quintanilla.
The three teenagers left the scene of the assault to changed their vehicles and later went back to look for Quintanilla, who was spotted walking down a road.
The Trevino brothers and Melendez then attacked Quintanilla for a third time and placed his body in the pickup truck.
Both Christian Trevino and Melendez have been charged with capital murder, aggravated assault and engaging in organized criminal activity.
Alejandro Trevino was charged with aggravated assault and engaging in organized criminal activity.
Pharr deputy police chief Juan Gonzalez said capital murder charges were not filed against Alejandro Trevino because Christian Trevino and Melendez were the ones who delivered the blows that eventually killed Quintanilla.
Pharr police chief Andy Harvey revealed during a press conference Tuesday that Quintanilla had a 2019 arrest warrant for allegedly sexually abusing another minor.
Quintanilla had sexually assaulted the girl between 2014 and 2016.
‘He was being elusive, obviously hiding from us,’ Harvey said.
DailyMail.com contacted Carlos Eduardo Espina for comment.