Three teens from Pharr, Texas, face some serious charges in connection with beating a 42-year-old man to death. Brothers Christian Trevino, 17, and Alejandro Trevino, 18, and their friend, Juan Eduardo Melendez, 18, have been accused of killing the Trevinos’ stepfather after he allegedly sexually abused their 9-year-old half sister.
Police believe that the brothers’ stepfather, Gabriel Quintanilla, was beaten at several locations.
The brothers were furious after their half sister told their mom that Quintanilla touched her inappropriately at an RV park, according to KSAT.
“When brothers (Alejandro) 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,” a news release from Pharr Police Department read, KSAT reported.
Christian Trevino ran after his stepfather, catching up with him at an apartment complex and beating him again, the police release says.
Meanwhile, Alejandro Trevino and Melendez met the two in their car, and when they arrived assisted Christian Trevino in beating the man up, Oxygen reported. After they were done, they reportedly left Quintanilla alone to pick up a Ford F-150 and then came back to find their stepfather. They allegedly found him walking alone and injured and proceeded to beat him again, police said.
“A third assault occurs, and the victim is severely beaten. The victim, who is still alive, is placed in the bed of the truck and [they] drove off,” according to police. “[They] ended up in the McColl and Whalen Road area where the victim was dropped off in an open field and the suspects fled.”
Police say brass knuckles were used in the beating and Quintanilla suffered severe head injuries when he was left to die.
He was found at 3 p.m. January 20 by officers with the McAllen Police Department, My San Antonio reported. They notified Pharr police and turned the investigation over to that department.
Christian Trevino and Melendez were arrested and charged with capital murder, aggravated assault, and engaging in organized criminal activity, according to Oxygen. Melendez also faces a charge for possession of marijuana.
Oxygen reported that Alejandro Trevino was charged with aggravated assault and engaging in organized criminal activity but wasn’t charged with capital murder because he was not involved with inflicting the injuries that led to Quintanilla’s death, according to Pharr Police Deputy Chief Juan Gonzalez.
Before his death, Quintanilla was wanted on charges of continuous sexual assault of a child and assault, family violence, from 2019, according to Oxygen.
At a news conference Tuesday, police said the child in that case was not the Trevinos’ half sister and that the abuse had been ongoing for three years until it was reported. A warrant was issued for Quintanilla’s arrest at the time, but he had managed to evade police capture. It’s not clear if the brothers knew about the other charges against their stepfather.
“We understand the sentiment and the attention that this case has drawn in this homicide in our city,” Pfarr Police Chief Andy Harvey explained at the news conference. “We definitely understand that; that’s why I think it’s important to have this conversation.”
The brothers and Melendez remain held on bonds that range from $1 million to more than $1.5 million, Click2Houston reported. They were arraigned on Sunday.