Online petitions demand release of Texas brothers accused of killing stepfather

Alejandro Trevino (18), Christian Trevino (17), and Juan Eduardo Melendez (18) are facing...
Alejandro Trevino (18), Christian Trevino (17), and Juan Eduardo Melendez (18) are facing capital murder charges for allegedly beating and killing Gabriel Quintanilla (42)(Hidalgo County Sheriff's)
Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 7:00 PM CST
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PHARR, Texas (KWTX/Gray News) - Over 200,000 signatures have been submitted in an online petition demanding the release of three young men charged for allegedly beating their stepfather to death after the man was accused of sexually abusing their sister.

KWTX reported that a second, similar petition has more than 30,000 signatures.

The petitions call on Gov. Greg Abbott to release the brothers and a friend who “could possibly spend the rest of their life in prison for protecting their sister.”

Pharr police arrested 18-year-old Alejandro Trevino, 17-year-old Christian Trevino and 18-year-old Juan Eduardo Melendez in connection to the death of 42-year-old Gabriel Quintanilla.

Police say Quintanilla was beaten with brass knuckles and put into the back of a truck. His body was found in a McAllen, Texas, field.

The beating allegedly happened after the Trevino brothers learned their sister claimed she was inappropriately touched by Quintanilla at an RV park. Police say the brothers were enraged and confronted Quintanilla, resulting in a physical fight and multiple assaults.

Quintanilla suffered severe head trauma, and authorities believe he may have been alive when the suspects dumped him in the field.

Police say Quintanilla had an arrest warrant in an unrelated case for continuous sexual assault of a child and assault family violence.

The three suspects are charged with aggravated assault and engaging in criminal activity. Christian Trevino and Melendez are also charged with capital murder.

Hidalgo County records show the teenagers are each being held on bonds totaling $1 million.

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