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260k+ sign petition to release teens who killed stepfather for sexually abusing 9-year-old sister

Christian Trevino, 18, (left) and Alejandro Trevino, 18, charged in connection with the Jan. 20 death of 42-year-old Gabriel Quintanilla in Pharr, TX. (Hidalgo County Jail/Released)
January 28, 2022

As of Friday, more than 260,000 people signed a petition demanding three Texas teens be released after they were charged with murder for the killing of two of the teens’ stepfather, who they allegedly found raping their nine-year-old half-sister.  

The petition, entitled “Justice for Alejandro, Christian, and Juan,” calls on the State of Texas to “release these teenagers, who could possibly spend the rest of their life in prison for protecting their sister.”

Each defendant is being held on at least $1 million bond.

According to KSAT, brothers Alejandro Trevino, 18, and Christian Trevino, 17, became “enraged” when their young sister cried out about being touched inappropriately by their stepfather, 41-year-old Gabriel Quintanilla.

“When brothers (Alejandro) and Christian Trevino found out, they became enraged and confronted Gabriel Quintanilla at the residence. A physical fight ensued between the three and the victim Quintanilla left the location on foot,” a news release from Pharr Police Department stated.

KRGV reported that the teens pursued Quintanilla to an apartment complex nearby, where they beat Quintanilla. After briefly leaving, the group returned to find Quintanilla walking alone and assaulted him a third time. They then put Quintanilla in the back of their truck and dumped him in a field where police believe he eventually died.

“A third assault occurs and the victim is severely beaten. The victim who is still alive is placed in the bed of the truck and drove off and ended up in the McColl and Whalen Road (area) where the victim was dropped off in an open field and the suspects fled,” police said.

Police said Quintanilla had a warrant for continuous sexual abuse of a child and assault family violence when he was beaten to death.

“The system failed this little girl, and these young kids did what the law fail to do so. They are innocent. Let’s free them,” said person wrote on the petition.

Melendez is facing multiple charges, including engaging in organized criminal activity, murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of marijuana.  

Christian Trevino is charged with aggravated assault, murder and engaging in organized criminal activity, and his brother Alejandro Trevino is charged with engaging in organized criminal activity and aggravated assault.

Police Chief Andy Harvey praised the detectives investigating the incident.

“This investigation was complex, having multiple scenes,” he said in a statement, according to MyRGV. “I am proud of how our detectives were able to put the pieces together in such a short time.”