HOUSTON — A central Texas grand jury on Tuesday ruled that a local father who beat to death a man he reportedly caught molesting his 5-year-old daughter will not be charged in connection with the attack.
District court clerk staff told the Los Angeles Times that the Lavaca County grand jury met Tuesday and declined to return an indictment against the father in the June 9 death of 47-year-old Jesus Mora Flores of Gonzalez, Texas.
The attack happened at a horse barn between the farming towns of Shiner and Yoakum. Investigators said the 23-year-old father, who lives in Yoakum and whose name has not been released, ran toward his daughter’s screams, pulled Flores off his child and beat him to death with his bare hands.
Emergency crews responding to a 911 call found Flores’ body with his pants and underwear pulled down. The girl was later taken to a hospital for a physical exam and interview, officials said.
An autopsy by Travis County Medical Examiner’s staff showed that Flores died due to “blunt force head and neck injury,” and the death was ruled a homicide, according to preliminary results released to The Times on Monday by Lavaca County Justice of the Peace Alene Lyons.
But authorities said the father’s account of the incident was supported by evidence and witness accounts.
Lavaca County Sheriff Micah Harmon, who had declined to press charges against the father, held a news conference at the courthouse with other officials after the grand jury met to announce its decision, but could not be reached by phone afterward.
“The substantial amount of evidence showed that the witness statements and the father’s statement and what the father had observed was in fact what had happened that day,” Lavaca County District Attorney Heather McMinn told reporters, including CNN.
Neither officials nor the family’s attorney, V’Anne Huser, took questions.
Huser said in light of the grand jury’s decision, “in our opinion, today, the story is over.”