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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 beating and killing Gabriel Quintanilla (42)(Hidalgo County Sheriff's)
Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 2:23 PM CST
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PHARR, Texas (KWTX) - Nearly 200,000 signatures have been submitted in an online petition demanding the release of three young men charged after allegedly beating their step-father to death after the man was accused of sexually abusing their sister.

A second, similar petition has more than 30,000 signatures.

The petitions call on Texas Governor Gregg 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 Alejandro Trevino, 18; Christian Treviño, 17; and Juan Eduardo Melendez, 18, a friend of the siblings, 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 Treviño 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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