Police Delay Charging Man Who Beat Alleged Sexual Predator to Death

Joseph Devenney/Getty Images(SHINER, Texas) -- A Texas man who allegedly caught an acquaintance sexually abusing his 4-year-old daughter last Saturday beat the man until he was mortally wounded, but police are holding off on charging him with a crime.

Lavaca County Sheriff Micah Harmon said the identities of the father and the man he killed won't be revealed pending notification of the slain person's kin.

According to Harmon, the father had people over to his home during the weekend.  At one point, the family went outside to tend horses while his daughter remained inside the house.

When the father returned, Harmon said he discovered a casual acquaintance known for his horse-grooming abilities allegedly assaulting the little girl.

The father told police he began punching the alleged assailant in the head to get him to stop.  Harmon said he was remorseful about what happened, indicating the father had never meant to kill the man.

As for whether the father will face murder or manslaughter charges, Harmon told reporters, "You have a right to defend your daughter.  He acted in defense of a 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."

Meanwhile, the girl was brought to a local hospital for treatment.  The sheriff said she's "okay besides the obvious mental trauma."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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