June 20, 2012

"[A] Texas grand jury... said a young father acted within the law when he used his fists to beat a man to death for sexually assaulting his 5-year-old daughter...."

But it's not some simple stamp of approval of a father's right to visit swift justice:
Legal analysts had earlier raised questions about whether the father should have stopped beating Mr. Flores after removing the daughter from danger and whether he would have been less liable if he had used a weapon instead of his fists, because pummeling someone to death can take considerable effort and suggests that revenge may have been a motive.
According to prosecutors, the father was alerted by a witness that the ranch hand was “forcibly carrying” the girl away. He then heard his daughter screaming, and, police say, found the ranch hand behind a barn assaulting the girl. After pulling Flores up, the father repeatedly punched him in the head and neck, where, the coroner said, the blunt force trauma was significant enough to cause death....

The father's emotional 911 call also made clear that there was no sense of nonchalance or satisfaction about what he had done. On the tape, the grand jury heard the father becoming increasingly agitated about whether EMTs would reach the remote ranch in time. "Come on! This guy is going to die on me!" the dad is heard screaming on the 911 call. "I don't know what to do!"

47 comments:

Rocketeer said...

For this? For this, we SHOULD issue a simple stamp of approval of a father's right to visit swift justice. Which is not to say that any father would take any satisfaction in doing it.

Please don't misunderstand me: I am not being flippant. I think "he needed killin'" should be endorsed and codifiedin certain circumstances.

traditionalguy said...

Texas is the home of common sense people who have a strong understanding of right and wrong. Therefore Texas doesn't need that may lawyers creating a morass of legal red tape to absorb the usual idiots problems.

Sam said...

I know the DA, Ms. McMinn, I am a prosecutor in a neighboring county. She did the right thing by presenting it to a Grand Jury. The Grand Jury did the right thing here by "No-billing" the father.

RC3 said...

"911 call also made clear that there was no sense of nonchalance or satisfaction"

No, don't care. Justifiable (and commendable) homicide, even if the father was dancing on the dead rapists face.

Synova said...

Deadly force is an allowable self-defense in the case of rape and attempted rape.

Seems to me, a father gets to serve that purpose for his 5 year old.

Particularly when he *caught him at it*. It's not revenge or vigilantism, I think, until time passes. When it's happening *now*, it's self-defense.

(I'm of the opinion, sort of anyway, that there are cases where revenge is understandable and moral, but requires an acceptance of a conviction for the crime and serving the sentence for the crime. If the "varmint needed killing" then it's worth your life in prison to do it.)

The Drill SGT said...

An other version that I saw said something like, "When the father came upon the scene, Flores pants were around his ankles".

This clearly was not a vague fondling claim.

I also am pleased that there is an independent witness that saw the girl being dragged off, and likely heard screams.

No Texas GJ or Jury would think about charging or convicting. Given that a father comes across a screaming child and a guy with his pants down.


Harry Callahan: Well, when an adult male is chasing a female with intent to commit rape, I shoot the bastard. That's my policy.
The Mayor: Intent? How did you establish that?
Harry Callahan: When a naked man is chasing a woman through an alley with a butcher's knife and a hard-on, I figure he isn't out collecting for the Red Cross!
[walks out of the room]
The Mayor: He's got a point.

Jason said...

Legal analysts "raised questions?" About whether the father would have been less liable had he used a weapon?

If I ever meet any of these "legal analysts" in person, I reserve the right to pummel them about the head and neck, just on principal.

This story is the Feel Good Story of the Year. Leave it to a "legal analyst" to piss all over it.

tim in vermont said...

Even had he wanted to prosecute, where was he going to find twelve guilty votes?

BarryD said...

I would not expect nonchalance.

I would expect satisfaction.

Can we have a parade for this guy (and for the grand jury)?

Ann Althouse said...

Without the specific evidence that is described in this case, you should worry that someone who has killed someone will make up a story about what the now-silenced victim was doing.

That's the problem with sending out the simple message.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

But it's not some simple stamp of approval of a father's right to visit swift justice:

If it isn't....it should be.

George said...

Texas law is actually pretty straightforward--use of deadly force in defense of a third person is explictly allowed to prevent or to stop sexual assault. There are no significan't "legal questions"--there are only questions of fact to be resolved.

George said...

Also, note that that standard is "reasonably believed."

Scott M said...

Texas law is actually pretty straightforward--use of deadly force in defense of a third person is explictly allowed to prevent or to stop sexual assault. There are no significan't "legal questions"--there are only questions of fact to be resolved.

This begs the question, "is violent crime lower than the national average?

EDH said...

After pulling Flores up, the father repeatedly punched him in the head and neck, where, the coroner said, the blunt force trauma was significant enough to cause death...

Hey, shit happens.

Shanna said...

(I'm of the opinion, sort of anyway, that there are cases where revenge is understandable and moral, but requires an acceptance of a conviction for the crime and serving the sentence for the crime. If the "varmint needed killing" then it's worth your life in prison to do it.)

I kind of feel this way too, to an extent. In this situation, I think 'defense of others' is definately reasonable. However, I am all for jury nullification and lack of prosecution in these types of cases as well.

Rocketeer said...

That's the problem with sending out the simple message.

From the article:

"[P]rosecutors pointed to the separate witness to the incident and the fact that the daughter had injuries consistent with a sexual assault."

Sorry to disagree, but this is simple. It should never even have made it to a grand jury.

Ipso Fatso said...

In Illinois, the victim would be the one celebrated with the Sun Times leading the charge to have the father put away for life. What a great state.

edutcher said...

The Lefties hate stuff like this because it shows how useless government can be when you need it most.

OTOH, as dean Martin once said, "We've had civilized killin' in Texas for years".

George said...

No, it was a good idea to put all the facts before a grand jury, just for the record.

Jason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

George said...
No, it was a good idea to put all the facts before a grand jury, just for the record.


It also let's the DA off the hook. That's why DA's seldom go after cops directly. They run them in front of a GJ and let the citizens take the heat from either side.

Gene said...

It's a good thing this didn't happen in Florida, instead of Texas. Otherwise George Zimmerman's prosecutor, Angelea Corey, would be holding press conferences to demand the death penalty for the father in this case. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to hear she was trying to extradite him to Florida anyway, all the better to punish him for defending his daughter.

paul a'barge said...

Let's hear the teeth-gnashing and fabric-rending from all the Lib-tard sympathizers for the pedophile ... all together now, sing along:....

Texas. If you're a pedophile, move to California, New York or Wisconsin where people feel sorry for you. Down here in Texas we're going to beat you to death. Every time.

Paul said...

Yes in Texas you can use deadly force to stop an sexual assault.

Glade they let him off. And the creep who did it is now in the PRISON OF NO PAROLE... i.e. DEAD.

traditionalguy said...

Note: The act of putting it front of the Grand Jury is a favor to the suspect. It gives him a clean bill of health from an investigation done by other than just then Sheriff. This is done to answer for ever any charges from the dead man's family that a Hatfield killed a McCoy and got away with it with a corrupt Sheriff's help.

That is what Zimmerman always needed, but the inane new No-Fault Murder rules in Fla stopped that.

Because of that the news media could ask unanswered questions until the Governor had to quiet down the scandal and then had to prosecute Zimmerman until at some point evidence was presented and heard by citizens heard, all of which would have been unnecessary in traditional Texas that alays does that.

Jerome said...

I would suggest that the legal question comes down to whether he continued to strike the deceased after a reasonable person would no longer have regarded him as a threat.

Shanna said...

That is what Zimmerman always needed, but the inane new No-Fault Murder rules in Fla stopped that.

IIRC, it was Corey's decision to forgo the grand jury. She could have gone.

Scott M said...

I would suggest that the legal question comes down to whether he continued to strike the deceased after a reasonable person would no longer have regarded him as a threat.

The deceased are never a threat. Unless its the zombie apocalypse. Then, the deceased are awesome.

(I gotta stop working in this genre...its screwing with me)

Pogo said...

Free Mumia!

Jason said...

Any person willing to rape a 5 year old child is a threat as long as they breathe.

Also, it doesn't necessarily take multiple blows to kill.

Ask Ray Chapman.

Or these guys:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2077173/England-football-fan-taunted-Welshman-killing-punch-outside-Wembley-Stadium-jailed.html

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/07/06/20110706las-vegas-casino-beating-death.html

http://www.independent.ie/national-news/man-killed-by-single-punch-suffered-severe-trauma-to-head-3026977.html

Skyler said...

It's a pity that nonchalance and satisfaction are considered detractors.

I'd have felt great nonchalance and satisfaction. I'd probably even boast.

When I was in the Philipines, I was told that one of the officers had problems with people breaking into his home. He hired some Negritos to guard his house, labor being quite cheap there. Next thing you know, some heads were on pikes around the house and no one ever stole from his house again.

You can't put heads on pikes in this country, but there is a deterrent value to letting all others know the possible and permanent consequences of molesting little girls.

I'm proud to live in Texas.

Synova said...

"I would suggest that the legal question comes down to whether he continued to strike the deceased after a reasonable person would no longer have regarded him as a threat."

See, this is the thing.

Suppose I'm armed. Suppose I've got a 9mm in my purse with 9 bullets in the magazine. (I don't know what standard magazines hold, since I usually only load five at a time.)

Okay, so...

I've got 9 rounds in a gun in my purse and I'm attacked, my attacker is raping me.

At some point I managed to get hold of my purse and after that manage to get the gun.

Suppose my first shot kills my attacker.

Or, suppose my third shot kills my attacker.

Suppose I get up off the ground and empty the magazine into his dead body.

I think that a *reasonable* person in this situation would empty the magazine into his dead body. Because that is going to be where your head is, just then.

Do I expect any sort of restraint out of a *reasonable* man who pulls a rapist off his 5 year old daughter?

No.

Synova said...

"He hired some Negritos to guard his house,"

The thieves certainly couldn't pay off the Negritos like they'd pay off anyone else hired to be guards.

I never did quite understand what the deal was there. The Negritos had a shop on Clark that sold swords and things but it was separated from all the other Filipino shops since these people did *not* get along. Not even a little bit.

Carnifex said...

Good for Dad. Shows he's a better man tham me, I wouldn't bother to make the 911 call. I'd prolly just light the bastard on fire. It should never have gone to a jury. Juries are crap shoots...ask Nicole Simpson.

Michael K said...

" Next thing you know, some heads were on pikes around the house and no one ever stole from his house again."

In Korea, in the 1950s Korean War, adopted this strategy to deal with infiltrators into their camps. They had no further trouble and slept soundly at night.

Michael K said...

The Turks was omitted from the comment. It was the Turks who posted the .

Craig Howard said...

This begs the question, "is violent crime lower than the national average?

Your misuse of the term "begs the question" only adds to the meaninglessness of your question.

ndspinelli said...

Sam, You're not the guy who prosecuted Bernie Tiede are you?!

That is the best flick I've seen this year.

Mike said...

She did the right thing by presenting it to a Grand Jury.

why was that the right thing? Did she really think there was a case here? It seems that she just drug this man through the legal system knowing that he would not be indicted. Or does the prosecutor have their hands tied for a homicide in that state>

Jason said...

Craig Howard:

I was wondering who the first insufferable, obtuse, idiotic boor who pointed that out, despite the meaning being absolutely clear, would be.

Congratulations!

harrogate said...

"But it's not some simple stamp of approval of a father's right to visit swift justice:"

Actually, yes, obviously, it is. Why the need to affect depth? The father's outrage is understandable enough as it is. And that's what the Texans went with.

echo said...

Died of natural causes.

Synova said...

"Died of natural causes."

Heh ;)

Matthew Sablan said...

"I think that a *reasonable* person in this situation would empty the magazine into his dead body. Because that is going to be where your head is, just then."

-- How'd that work out for Mersault? Ok, it's not a good comparison. But it is a kind of comparison!

karrde said...

@Skyler, @Ann

If the father had been in possession of a 0.45-caliber pistol (or a 9mm, or even a 0.380 or 0.25) and put one fatal bullet into the attacker's eye socket...

Would the case be any different?

Lethal force can be applied with bare hands, but some instinct tells me that lethal gunfire produces a different emotional response.

I agree with the others about the simplicity of the message.

The message is not that any form of lethal force is justifiable.

The message is that, given clear evidence that the father was protecting someone else from sexual assault, he was justified in using lethal force.

Kirby Olson said...

The jerk had it coming.