SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - A grand jury next week will consider whether to file charges against a Texas father who said he beat to death a man who was attempting to sexually assault his 5-year-old daughter, the district attorney for Lavaca County said on Friday.
A witness saw Jesus Flores, 47, “forcibly” carrying the girl to a secluded location and notified her 23-year-old father, who was attending a barbecue at the family’s ranch outside Shiner, Texas, last Saturday, District Attorney Heather McMinn said.
The father, whose name has not been released because he has not been charged with a crime, heard his daughter’s screams and ran to a secluded area, where he “removed Flores from on top of his child and, in the process, inflicted several blows to the man’s head and neck area,” McMinn said.
The father admitted to Lavaca County Sheriff Micah Harmon and a Texas Ranger investigating the case that he beat Flores to death in an effort to protect his child.
In court papers, Harmon said evidence found at the scene appeared to substantiate the father’s account.
“The man’s pants and underwear were down and his genitals were exposed,” Harmon said. “In addition, all of the physical evidence and several detailed witness statements corroborated the father’s statement.”
McMinn said she determined on Friday that the case should be reviewed by a grand jury.
“Sheriff Harmon made the right decision in not arresting the father at the time of the incident,” she said.
McMinn said the father was “very remorseful and did not intend to kill Jesus Flores.”
Harmon said Flores had been hired by the family to groom horses and perform other chores.
Shiner, population 1,900, is located in southeastern Texas between Houston and San Antonio. Is best known as the home of the brewery that produces Shiner Bock, one of Texas’ popular craft beers.
Editing By Corrie MacLaggan and Stacey Joyce