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It's a complicated crime.

Two Texas brothers, Christian Trevino and Alejandro Trevino, both aged 18 found out that their stepfather,42-year-old Gabriel Quintanilla, had been sexually abusing their 9-year-old little sister. Their friend, Juan Eduardo Melendez also 18 years old, participates in three altercations on January 20th that ultimately lead to the beating death of Quintanilla, his body found in a field.

Arrests are made and charges are placed on all three young men.

It doesn't take long before the three young men are arrested. Christian and Melendez have been charged with capital murder, aggravated assault, and engaging in organized criminal activity. Alejandro with aggravated assault, and engaging in organized criminal activity.  All three are being held on at least a $1 million bond.

In Texas, a capital murder charge could mean the death penalty or life in prison without parole for anyone 18 years of age or older.

The public would quickly learn that Quintanilla had an arrest warrant for sexually abusing another child at the time of his death.

Was this a premeditated murder or a crime of passion, committed in a sudden rage?

The public speaks up.

Immediately when details of the murder, the arrests, and the capital murder charge as well as when the arrest warrant for Quintanilla went public, comments of support came pouring in for the three teens. In fact, thousands are rallying to show their support offering that the system is broken when it comes to sexual abuse of minors and that this murder, many in the general public feel, is justified.

You can read our original coverage of the story below.

A petition calling on Gov. Abbott to free the three teens continues to grow.

If you are following the petition, titled Justice for Alejandro, Christian, and Juan on the Change. org website, you know that at this time 197,442 people have signed the petition. If you watch it live by clicking here, you will note that every 30 seconds right now, another signature is added. According to the website, with 200,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on

The petition will reach the 200,00 goal before I finish writing this article.

Started by Carlos Eduardo Espina, this petition is addressed to Gov. Abbott.

The petition reads, "We ask that the state of Texas release these teenagers, who could possibly spend the rest of their life in prison for protecting their sister."

Let us know your thoughts by commenting on your station app or commenting on our station Facebook pages.

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