The case is headed to a grand jury but this guy’s more likely to land on Barbara Walters’s couch than in prison. I’d be surprised if there’s a GJ in America that would indict him; if there is, lord knows it’s not in Texas. Here’s the relevant statute in the state’s penal code. Not a close call:
(a) A person is justified in using deadly force against another:
(1) if the actor would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.31; and
(2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:
(A) to protect the actor against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force; or
(B) to prevent the other’s imminent commission of aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery…
(c) A person who has a right to be present at the location where the deadly force is used, who has not provoked the person against whom the deadly force is used, and who is not engaged in criminal activity at the time the deadly force is used is not required to retreat before using deadly force as described by this section.
That provision covers the use of deadly force when you’re the one being attacked; the next section in the code extends the use of deadly force to defending someone else so long as the same conditions as the above are met. In other words, if a woman (or little girl, in this case) is entitled to defend herself by killing the man who’s trying to rape her, a third person who’s coming to her aid is entitled to do so too. In theory, a father might not be entitled to use force if he stumbled upon the molestation and the molester stopped and begged for mercy; deadly force is protected legally as a means of ending an attack (or preventing one that’s imminent), not punishing an attacker for something he just did. But c’mon — is there a man or woman alive who’d vote to convict on a murder charge with a fact pattern like that? Morally, this will be treated as justifiable homicide whether or not it’s technically self-defense by proxy — which, to be clear, I think it is here — and any jury would strain mightily to find that it qualified under the definition for the latter. Exit quotation: “He got what he well deserved.”