200K Sign Petition to Free Texas Brothers Accused of Killing Allegedly Abusive Stepfather

More than 230,000 people have signed a petition calling for the release of two Texas brothers charged with beating their stepfather to death for allegedly abusing their half-sister.

Alexandro and Christian Trevino, aged 18 and 17 respectively, were arrested on January 22 by the Pharr Police Department and charged with beating 42-year-old Gabriel Quintanilla and leaving him for dead in a field.

The petition was created on Change.org two days ago. It also calls for the release of 18-year-old Juan Eduardo, who has also been charged over his alleged involvement in the crime.

"Alexandro Trevino (18), Christian Trevino (17) and Juan Eduardo Melendez (18) are facing capital murder charges for beating and killing Gabriel Quintanilla (42) after discovering that he was [allegedly] abusing Alexandro and Christian's 9-year-old sister," the petition reads.

"The three teenagers are currently in custody and have their bonds set at over 1 million dollars each. If convicted of capital murder, they face a minimum sentence of life imprisonment without parole.

"We ask that the state of Texas release these teenagers, who could possibly spend the rest of their life in prison for protecting their sister."

Pharr Police Deputy Chief Juan Gonzalez held a press conference following the trio's arrest.

He confirmed Quintanilla had a warrant out for the sexual abuse of a different child.

Alexandro Trevino and Christian Trevino's 9-year-old half-sister told someone on January 20 that Quintanilla had touched her inappropriately at an RV park in the 1200 block of East Moore.

After learning this, the two brothers confronted and attacked Quintanilla. Gonzalez said that Quintanilla was beaten with knuckle dusters before being left for dead in a field in McAllen.

"When the brothers Alexandro and Christian found out, they confronted Gabriel at the residence, and a physical fight ensued between the three," Gonzalez said during the press conference.

"Quintanilla left the location on foot[...] Christian Trevino runs out after the victim and finds him outside of an apartment complex further south down the road.

"A second assault occurs there and Alexandro Trevino and the driver of a red Dodge Charger, who we have identified as Juan Gonzalez Melendez, catch up to him and again join in on an assault of the victim at that point."

Police say a third attack occurs and the victim, while still alive, is placed in the back of a truck where they drive off to an area in McAllen. Quintanilla was then dropped off in a field, where police say he may still have been alive. Suspects then fled the scene.

All three suspects were arraigned on Sunday. Christian Trevino and Melendez were both charged with capital murder, aggravated assault and engaging in organized criminal activity.

Alexandro Trevino was charged with aggravated assault and engaging in organized criminal activity.

Andy Harvey Jr., chief of police for the Pharr PD, issued a statement to Newsweek in response to the petition.

"We completely understand the sentiment surrounding this case," he said.

"There is an emotional connection for many on different levels. However, there is a judicial process in our country that must be respected."

Crime
From left to right: Alexandro Trevino, Christian Trevino and Juan Eduardo Melendez. A petition has been started and signed by over 200,000 people demanding the release of the trio. Hidalgo County Court Records