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Father Kills Man He Caught Molesting His 4-Year-Old Daughter: Hero Or Murderer?

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Okay, so this is heavy. Really heavy. But here goes: A Texas dad caught a man sexually assaulting his 4-year-old daughter. The girl was left inside the family’s home during some sort of social gathering while her family members tended to horses. When the father returned to the house, he caught this man abusing his little girl and started punching in the head repeatedly, eventually killing him.

The man was pronounced dead on the scene, while the daughter was taken to hospital and later released. Apparently this father did not mean to kill the alleged abuser (the two were casually acquainted, by the way). According to Lavaca County Sheriff Micah Harmon, he didn’t know the man was going to die and is “very remorseful.”

So what does this mean for the unnamed father? Harmon tells CNN, “You have a right to defend your daughter. He 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.”

Without knowing any details other than what’s written above, I have to say I’ll be highly disturbed if this man ends up in jail. Yes, he killed another man, but I believe that his reaction was the most visceral thing in the world given the horrifying situation. In fact, I cannot think of a single parent – man or woman – who wouldn’t have done the same. The issue, of course, is that you don’t expect to actually kill the guy.

This story reminds me of a different one we covered off last week about Debbie Piscitella, a Florida mom who was arrested after choking her daughter’s 14-year-old bully. The boy was fine in the end, and Piscitella regretted her actions, explaining that she had simply lost her temper. While I don’t think that what she did was right, I don’t blame her for losing it. (Based on the comments we received, it seems half our writers agree with me and the other half think Piscitella had no right to touch that boy.)

Obviously this latest news story is more complex – we’re talking about a 4-year-old girl being sexually assaulted here – but it brings up a similar debate. Personally, I don’t blame this man one bit for attacking his little girl’s abuser; like I said, I can’t imagine someone not having that reaction. But the sad reality is that he murdered this man – intentionally or not. Still, it’s unlikely he’ll be charged, and I truly hope that’s the case.

How about you? Do you think this father deserves to be charged for murder – or even manslaughter? Take our poll and weigh in in the comments section below.

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(Photo: Thomas Pajot/Shutterstock)