(CBS/AP) SHINER, Texas - Residents of the small Texas town of Shiner are standing up for a father who beat another man to death when he allegedly caught him trying to molest his 4-year-old daughter, saying they would have done the same thing to protect their child, reports CBS affiliate KENS.
"I don't think he should be arrested for it. I don't think any charges should be filed," a resident told KENS, requesting anonymity.
Investigators said the father, whose name has not been released, hired the man he later killed to help with his horses on the family's ranch. The dad reportedly came running when he heard his daughter screaming, then allegedly hit the man several times over the head, killing him.
The victim's body was sent to the Travis County medical examiner for an autopsy.
"He got what he well deserved," another Shiner resident said of the dead man, also requesting anonymity.
The father called police late Saturday afternoon and told them he attacked a man he caught trying to sexually assault his daughter. The girl was taken to a hospital to be examined and has since been released.
Lavaca County Sheriff Micah Harmon said on Monday that the father will probably not be arrested for the beating death and that no evidence so far led investigators to believe it happened for "any reason other than what he told us."
The victim was only identified as a 47-year-old man from nearby Gonzales with no apparent prior criminal history, Harmon said. Authorities withheld his name because they had yet to track down any of his family. The victim was an alleged "acquaintance" of the father, although Harmon said he did not know how long the two men had known each other.
A grand jury will decide what, if any, charges the father will face.
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