Legal experts weigh in on Pharr homicide case

Legal experts weigh in on Pharr homicide case
2 years 3 months 1 week ago Monday, February 14 2022 Feb 14, 2022 February 14, 2022 9:29 AM February 14, 2022 in News - Local

The push to free a trio accused in the beating death of a man continues.

Eighteen-year-old Alejandro Treviño, his brother Christian Treviño, 17, and their friend Juan Eduardo Melendez, 18, face multiple charges after they allegedly beat the brothers' stepdad, 42-year-old Gabriel Quintanilla, to death.

Police say the teens threw Quintanilla’s body into a McAllen field on Jan. 20.

READ ALSO: Pharr police chief provides update in homicide investigation  

“If they talked and planned that they were going to beat him and did it, then all 3 of them are guilty of the crime of murder that can be punishable from 5 to 99 or even life in prison,” said Rene Guerra, the former Hidalgo County district attorney.

Detectives say the three beat Quintanilla using brass knuckles after a female family member claims she was being touched inappropriately by Quintanilla. Police had also been looking for Quintanilla for an unrelated case of alleged sexual abuse back in 2019.

The Treviño brothers' case has sparked support protests and an online petition on change.org signed by thousands asking the state of Texas to reduce their charges.

Guerra says it's not happening. 

READ ALSO: Rally held in support of teens charged in Pharr homicide  

“Then, every time there is an abuse, it'll be justified, like giving permission to the person who is going to kill the suspect even if the authorities have not charged him or have found him guilty,” Guerra said. “That is what the legal system is for.”

Court documents obtained by Channel 5 News show capital murder charges, aggravated assault, and participation in organized crime and indicate that the Treviño brothers are both Mexican nationals.

"You committed a crime, a violent crime, that gives them more of a hook to deport you from the country," said Alejandro San Miguel, an immigration attorney.

San Miguel says that the brothers’ immigration status can also be affected.

“Yes, they can be deported,” San Miguel said. “Remember, in order for you to get deported the only thing that immigration needs is that you don't have legal documents here, that you don't have something that allows you to remain permanently or temporarily in the United States. "

All three suspects remain in the Hidalgo County jail with bonds of more than $1 million.

If found guilty, they could spend the rest of their life in prison.

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