Texas Father Kills Molester During Attack; Is it Justified Defense?

According to The Huffington Post, a father from Lavaca County, Texas killed an acquaintance, whom the he caught attempting to sexually abuse the father's 4-year-old daughter.


At a gathering, just outside Shiner, Texas, the father was outside tending to horses, when he heard his 4-year-old daughter scream from inside the residence. When the father ran into the house, he found a 47-year-old man attempting to molest the man's daughter.



In order to protect his daughter and prevent her from being sexually assaulted, the father punched the man in the head several times, resulting in the man's death. According to Lavaca County Sheriff, Micah Harmon, the father was "very remorseful" and did not realize that the man would die from his injuries. Harmon described the 4-year-old girl as "OK, besides the obvious mental trauma" of the incident.

The father and daughter's names were withheld to protect the child's privacy.  The name of the deceased was not released pending notification of his family.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjsGnfLQAmU&feature=related


"You have a right to defend your daughter," Harmon told CNN.  "[The girl's father] acted in defense of his third person. Once the investigation is completed we will submit it to the district attorney who then submits it to the grand jury, who will decide if they will indict him."

While I'm unfamiliar with Texas laws, in California, where I am a police officer, a person has the right to use deadly force to prevent serious bodily injury or death to themselves or a third party (in this case, the father protecting his 4-year-old daughter). While the definition of "serious bodily injury" can be somewhat subjective, a 47-year-old man attempting to sexually assault a 4-year-old girl would surely meet that criterion.

However, according to the California Department of Justice's publication, "California Firearms Laws 2007", "The right of self-defense ceases when there is no further danger from an assailant. Thus, where a person attacked under circumstances initially justifying self-defense renders the attacker incapable of inflicting further injuries, the law of self-defense ceases and no further force may be used."

In other words, once the assailant no longer poses a threat, you are no longer warranted in using force against him. Let's assume that this incident occurred in California, and the father's first punch incapacitated the assailant. In such case, it would no longer be legally defensible for the father to continue to punch the assailant.

Fortunately, in this case, it seems as though the father prevented his 4-year-old daughter from sustaining serious and lasting injury. Of secondary importance is the fact that it does not appear as though the father will be charged.

What are your thoughts?

Recommended for You

Jason Karvois of Century Arms and Canik Superior Handguns, showed OSG senior digital editor Lynn Burkhead three great new 9mm handgun models. NRA Show

New 9mm Handgun Models from Century Arms

G&A Digital Staff - May 28, 2019

Jason Karvois of Century Arms and Canik Superior Handguns, showed OSG senior digital editor...

The new Nikon MONARCH M5 provides long-range hunting excellence. Optics

The New Nikon MONARCH M5

Tom Beckstrand - May 28, 2019

The new Nikon MONARCH M5 provides long-range hunting excellence.

Michael Janich of The Best Defense talks about various air guns that and their usefulness during different disaster scenarios. Personal Defense

Air Guns: Useful Weapon and Tool in Disaster Situations

The Best Defense

Michael Janich of The Best Defense talks about various air guns that and their usefulness...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

All About .300 Blackout

All About .300 Blackout

The .300 Blackout is here to stay, and we take some time to look at new technology surrounding this cartridge. Next, we pit subsonic rivals against each other before stretching the legs of this CQB round out to 600 yards from a short 9-inch barrel.

Gun Clips with Joe Mantegna - 94 WINCHESTER

Gun Clips with Joe Mantegna - 94 WINCHESTER

Joe Mantegna talks about the origins of the 94 Winchester rifle.

Century Arms Introduces a Heavy-Duty AK Rifle

Century Arms Introduces a Heavy-Duty AK Rifle

Chambered in 7.62x39mm with components machined from extremely durable S7 tool steel, a chrome-moly 4150 barrel and a carburized 4140 steel bolt.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Don't mortgage the homestead to get into PRS, this is what's available from the likes of Mossberg, Tikka, Savage, Howa, Bergara, Weatherby and Remington. Rifles

Starter Rifles for Under $1000

Aaron Carter - May 09, 2019

Don't mortgage the homestead to get into PRS, this is what's available from the likes of...

The Savage MSR 15 Competition is an out-of-the-box race horse ready to help you win 3-Gun matches. Rifles

Savage Arms MSR 15 Competition Review

James Tarr - May 21, 2019

The Savage MSR 15 Competition is an out-of-the-box race horse ready to help you win 3-Gun...

Crossbreed's new The Reckoning holster is a simple leather-Kydex combination with multiple points of retention adjustment and clip options. Accessories

Crossbreed's The Reckoning Holster

Eric R. Poole - May 13, 2019

Crossbreed's new The Reckoning holster is a simple leather-Kydex combination with multiple...

See More Stories

More News

SIG SAUER and Lipsey's announce the release of the special edition NRA P365 micro-compact pistol. NRA Show

SIG SAUER and Lipsey's Join Forces with NRA P365 to Support Second Amendment

G&A Online Staff - April 23, 2019

SIG SAUER and Lipsey's announce the release of the special edition NRA P365 micro-compact...

Vista Outdoor Inc. announced it has completed the sale of the legal entity operating its Savage Arms and Stevens firearms brands. Industry

Vista Outdoor Announces Sale of Savage Arms Brand

G&A Online Editors - July 08, 2019

Vista Outdoor Inc. announced it has completed the sale of the legal entity operating its...

Rock River Arms is set to showcase several new rifles and pistols at the 2019 NRA Annual Meetings in Indianapolis, IN. NRA Show

Rock River Arms to Present New Rifles and Pistols

Guns & Ammo Digital Staff - April 23, 2019

Rock River Arms is set to showcase several new rifles and pistols at the 2019 NRA Annual...

See More News

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×