A Texas father beat and killed a man allegedly caught trying to sexually assault his 4-year-old daughter — a killing that may be justified under a Texas statute similar to Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.
The killing and alleged assault happened Saturday in rural Shiner, Texas, east of San Antonio. The 4-year-old girl remained in her home while other relatives tended to horses, CNN reports.
When the girl’s father returned to the house, he allegedly caught his daughter being sexually assaulted by a 47-year-old acquaintance, the sheriff said.
The girl’s father beat the alleged attacker and kept punching the man in the head until he died, CNN reports. The father is “very remorseful,” because he didn’t know the man would die from the beating, the sheriff said.
The girl was treated at a hospital and released. She is “OK besides the obvious mental trauma,” the sheriff said.
Investigators are looking into the killing, which may be justified under Texas’ self-defense and “defense of person” laws. Similar to Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, Texas law allows the use of deadly force against anyone “committing or attempting to commit … sexual assault,” among other crimes.
In Texas, a person who uses deadly force in self-defense or in defense of another cannot have provoked the person against whom the deadly force was used, and cannot have been committing a crime at the time. Neither seem to apply to the Texas dad’s defense-of-daughter killing.
“You have a right to defend your daughter,” the sheriff told CNN. After an investigation is complete, a grand jury will decide whether to press charges, the sheriff said.
- Father beats man to death; sheriff says dad reacted to his daughter, 4, being sexually assaulted (Victoria Advocate)
- Deadly Force and Home Defense: Texas Man Kills 2 Teens (FindLaw’s Blotter)
- ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws: State by State (FindLaw’s Blotter)
- George Zimmerman Case: What Is a Grand Jury? (FindLaw’s Blotter)