Texas brothers who beat stepfather to death for sexually abusing their sister appear in court

Brothers still in jail, friend who is also accused was released last year, court records show

From Left: Alejandro Trevino, Christian Trevino, Juan Eduardo Melendez (Hidalgo County Court Records)

PHARR, Texas – The Pharr brothers accused in the 2022 vigilante killing of their stepfather appeared in court just one year after the murder.

Christian Treviño, 18, walked into court smiling on Feb. 1, according to MyRGV.com. His attorney, Carlos Garcia, asked District Judge Fernando Mancias for additional time to work on the case.

The judge agreed after Garcia suggested they wait until Christian’s brother’s hearing in March. His brother, Alejandro Treviño, 19, also has charges relating to the beating death of their stepfather, 42-year-old Gabriel Quintanilla.

The Treviño brothers, along with family friend Juan Eduardo Melendez, 19, were all arrested in January 2022. They’re accused of beating Quintanilla to death because they believed he was sexually abusing their 9-year-old sister.

A report from ValleyCentral states that Quintanilla was found in a field in McAllen with severe blunt-force trauma to his head last January after multiple assaults allegedly committed by the three teens.

According to KRGV, police reported that a minor, later identified as Quintanilla’s daughter, made an outcry about being inappropriately touched by Quintanilla at an RV park.

“When brothers (Alejandro) and Christian Treviño found out, they became enraged and confronted Gabriel Quintanilla at the residence. A physical fight ensued between the three and the victim Quintanilla left the location on foot,” a news release from Pharr Police Department states.

The trio left the area and changed vehicles from a red Dodge Charger to a truck before heading back to a local apartment complex where they discovered Quintanilla walking alone, Pharr police said in the release.

He was allegedly assaulted a third time, police said, before being placed in the bed of the truck and dumped in a field. Police believe Quintanilla might have still been alive when the teens allegedly dumped his body, which was discovered by a farmer on Jan. 20, 2022.

MyRGV reported that the Treviño brothers’ mother said her sons assaulted Quintanilla after they learned he had been accused of molesting their then-9-year-old half-sister.

Quintanilla is Alejandro and Christian’s stepfather and the two brothers have different fathers. They are both half-siblings of the girl, according to MyRGV.

A probable cause affidavit obtained by MyRGV states that the woman told Quintanilla to leave her residence after her daughter made the outcry.

Melendez was charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of marijuana. Jail records show he was released on Aug. 10, 2022, on $362,000 in bonds.

Both Treviño brothers are charged with aggravated assault and engaging in organized criminal activity, while Christian has an additional charge of murder.

Christian and Alejandro are both still in Hidalgo County Jail, being held on $150,000 bonds, court records show.

All three have pleaded not guilty to their respective charges.

All the teens were originally being held on at least a $1 million bond, according to a previous report from KSAT.

Quintanilla had a warrant for continuous sexual abuse of a child and assault family violence at the time of his death, according to police.

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About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.