Vigilante Justice Ends with Murder of Alleged Sex Offender, Say Cops

San Antonio Police
Vigilante Justice Ends With Three Charged With Murder After Alleged Sex Offender is Killed
San Antonio Police (

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (CBS/KENS) An alleged pedophile is in the morgue and three people are in a Texas jail charged with his murder after police say they took the law into their own hands.

Mark Gabler's badly decomposed body was found in May in a field on the outskirts of San Antonio. Investigators say he was beaten and stabbed before being left to die, probably as early as April.

San Antonio Police investigators now believe Gabler's death was the result of vigilante justice carried out because Shawn Phillips and three other suspects believed Gabler had molested Phillips' 7-year-old female relative, according to CBS affiliate KENS.

Phillips was arrested in November after investigators say they discovered that he had used Gabler's credit card weeks after Gabler's death. According to the arrest affidavit, Phillips confessed to beating Gabler to death with a club, the station reported.

Phillips also named three others who he said helped him "take care of it his way," as his wife later told police Phillips put it, including a woman who she says "lured" Gabler into the truck that drove him to his death, according to The San Antonio Express-News.

Richelle Vasquez was arrested Monday and charged with murder for her role in the killing. Kenneth Nelsen was arrested in Alabama shortly after Phillips.

Detectives say the three suspects in custody confessed to the crime. According to the warrant, Michael Sorrell, named by the others as having participated in the crime, has also been charged with the murder but is still at large, the paper reported.