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A grand jury decided not to bring charges against the Texas dad who killed a man molesting his daughter.
The man, whose name has not been released in order to protect his daughter's identity, allegedly found Jesus Mora Flores sexually assaulting his daughter at the family's ranch. He attacked Flores in an effort to protect his daughter and then called 911. The family ranch is in a remote area and Flores died before an ambulance reached the property.
The father was never arrested and the news from the grand jury means the family will hopefully be able to deal with this terrible incident in peace.
There is no question that Flores died on the property so local law enforcement investigated the facts available at the scene. Flores was found dead with his pants down and a hospital confirmed that the child had been sexually molested, according to MSNBC.
The case then went to a grand jury to determine if the man should be charged with homicide.
Most people know that a regular "jury" is a group of citizens that determine guilt or innocence at trial. But a grand jury is different. Grand juries convene to look at the available evidence when a person is suspected of a felony, but before they are formally charged and arrested.
Indictment by a grand jury for certain crimes is a right guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment and some states require grand jury indictment for all felonies.
A grand jury can hear evidence that is not necessarily admissible in court and the proceedings are kept secret, unlike a regular trial which must be public according to the Sixth Amendment. Only the prosecution presents evidence before a grand jury and defendants are not present.
These procedures allow a grand jury to consider whether the prosecution has enough evidence to carry its burden of proof at trial. If the prosecution can't meet that standard then it cannot lawfully convict and no charges should be filed.
The grand jury's decision not to indict means that they determined that the Texas dad could not be found guilty of homicide at a trial. His actions against Mr. Flores were justified under Texas law which allows the use of deadly force to repel a sexual assault. All the evidence indicated that is what was occurring," announced District Attorney Heather McMinn at a news conference following the grand jury's decision.