Jessica Sarrach ‘24, Lyonlife Editor-in-Chief
On Jan. 27, at approximately 2:41 p.m. a Texas dispatcher received a call from a farmer, reporting the finding of a dead body in the fields. Upon further exploration, police found the body to be that of 47-year-old Gabriel Quintanilla, a man who had warrants out for his arrest on the accounts of continual molestation and assault of his nine-year-old daughter. Police believe this brutal murder to be the works of his two stepsons, 17-year-old Alexandro Trevino and 18-year-old Christian Trevino, along with their friend 18-year-old Juan Eduardo Melendez.
The Trevino brothers’ younger sister, whose name has not yet been released, reported an alleged sexual assult from Qunitanilla in an R.V. park. It is believed that the sister shared information on this assault with her two brothers, leaving them enraged and seeking retribution.
The murder of Quintanilla has been reported to be the work of three seperate assults. The first assault is said to have occurred right after the brothers’ younger sister told them of her alleged assault. The boys, in a bought of aggression, sought out Quintanilla in his place of residence. The three are said to have engaged in a physical fight, where Quintanilla fled the situation on foot.
The second assault is said to have taken place in front of an apartment complex to where Quintanilla attempted to flee. Pharr police in the case’s press release said, “A second assault occurs there when Alexandro Trevino and a driver of a red Dodge Charger, Juan Eduardo Melendez, catch up and join the assault towards the victim.” The teenagers are then said to have left the scene, changing vehicles to a pick up truck.
The third and final assault occurred later during that same evening when the teenagers returned to the scene of the second crime in the pickup truck. Upon their return, they saw Quintanilla walking away down the street, which aggravated the group to continue their actions. The group threw Quintanilla into the bed of the pickup truck, driving to a cross section between McColl and Whalen Road. The group continued the assault, where fatal blows were given to Quintanilla through repeated face punches with brass rings on the attackers’ knuckles. It is believed that when the teenagers left the scene of the crime, Quintanilla was still alive, though just hours later the police report was filed and his dead body was found.
All three of the teenage suspects were charged on accounts of aggravated assault and engaging in criminal activities. The two Trevino brothers were also charged with capital murder. The public is in an uproar regarding these heavy charges and are asking for lesser sentences for the three. One petition that has amassed more than 200,000 signatures said, “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.” It seems as though the community stands with the three for protecting the young girl and hope for a merciful ruling.