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Shiner residents support father involved in homicide

By BY JENNIFER PREYSS AND SONNY LONG - JLPREYSS@VICAD.COM; SLONG@VICAD.COM
June 10, 2012 at 1:10 a.m.
Updated June 11, 2012 at 1:11 a.m.


SHINER - Residents of this small Lavaca County town voiced support Sunday for a man involved in a homicide along County Road 302 near Shiner.

Sheriff Micah Harmon said deputies were called about 3:45 p.m. Saturday after a father witnessed a 47-year-old Gonzales man molesting his 4-year-old daughter in a detached barn. Harmon said the father attempted to stop the man from sexually assaulting his daughter and physically struck him on the head several times, killing him. It is unknown how the men were acquainted.

The Gonzales man was declared dead at the scene by Alene Lyons, Lavaca County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4.

"He got what he deserved, big time," said Sonny Jaehne, a Shiner native.

Jaehne and friend Mark Harabis were among a handful of people Sunday at Howard's convenience store in Shiner who discussed the community's reaction to the homicide.

"I agree with him totally," Harabis said. "I would probably do worse. The family will have to deal with that the rest of their lives, no matter what happens to the father. Even if they let him go, he and his child will have to deal with that the rest of their lives."

Howard's convenience store is a popular Shiner hangout that sells beer, bait and ammo. Owner Howard Gloor said Saturday's incident was a hot topic of discussion through the weekend.

"Everybody wants to know who it is," Gloor said. "Everybody's very curious about it. A lot of people have said that he got what he had coming to him. That's been the consensus. They've been supportive of doing what needed to be done to take care of the problem."

Marlene Jacks, who was listening to music on the store's patio Sunday, had much the same sentiment.

"I was shocked. I didn't like what the father did, but if I saw it happen I would have probably done the same thing," Jacks said. "I think the father was justified."

The name of the deceased man has not yet been released because his relatives have not been notified, Harmon said. Authorities have also not identified the girl, or her father, and the Advocate's policy is to not print the names of sexual assault victims.

No arrests have yet been made in the case, but District Attorney Heather McMinn said in an email that she is aware of the investigation and has been in contact with Harmon about the case.

"Once the sheriff's office finishes the investigation and presents it to our office, it will be reviewed and presented to grand jury," McMinn said.

Harmon said he did not know whether charges would be filed, and the case remains under investigation.

The Gonzales man's body was taken to Travis County for an autopsy.

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