A grand jury in Texas has refused to indict a father who beat a man to death for allegedly molesting his 4-year-old daughter. The incident happened earlier this month when a man hired to help with horses had been invited to the family home near Shiner for a barbecue. According to reports, a neighbor saw the man taking the girl against her will to a barn and alerted her father. When the father arrived, he heard his daughter screaming and he said he saw the toddler’s underwear was off and the man was molesting her. He began beating the man up with his bare hands and ended up killing him.

When I first heard this news, I was disgusted by the response on social media. “Swift justice!” someone had said. “Texas justice!” another had said.

But how can you know that justice has been served before determining if everyone’s telling the right story? What if someone killed a man and then concocted the story to cover up his crime? I was glad a Texas Grand Jury was looking into the matter. And additional reports indicated that the killing was completely unintentional. The father made a call to 9-1-1 that seemed to indicate he had not intended to kill the man, simply beat him up for raping his child. And there’s more:

“The physical evidence at the scene appeared to substantiate the father’s account. When emergency personnel arrived, Jesus Mora Flores’ pants and underwear were down and the man’s genitals were exposed,” said Lavaca County Sheriff Micah Harmon.

Investigators conducted an autopsy, a physical and forensic exam of the child and heard several detailed witness accounts, which all corroborated the father’s statement, they said.

Raping a toddler shouldn’t be a capital offense but there’s not a jury in this country that would convict any parent who reacted with violence upon seeing his or her toddler raped. I watched some of the local news reports after the incident, and it was clear that locals completely supported the family and, in fact, some suggested he deserved a medal rather than criminal charges.

Earlier this month, Editor Shawna Cohen wrote that she thought the father should not be charged. A vigorous discussion in the comments ensued. Does this new information about the grand jury’s decision change your mind?

(Photo: pzAxe/Shutterstock)