An Alabama father was sentenced to 40 years in prison earlier this week for murdering the man who sexually abused his daughter.
According to Alabama newspaper The Cullman Times, the 43-year-old father pleaded guilty to the 2014 murder of convicted sex offender Raymond Earl Brooks.
In June 2014, the father was charged for shooting Brooks outside of a home where he lived with his parents, the Associated Press reported at the time.
According to the news agency, Brooks pleaded guilty to sexually abusing the shooter’s daughter in 2002 and served just over two and a half years of a five-year prison term.
After charges were laid against the shooter, supporters of the father rallied to gather donations to help fund the man’s legal defence, through various social media sites.
“The guy was guilty of raping his little girl, and I guess he dealt with it for 12 years and it just built up,” Jason Lackey, a longtime friend of the father, told the Associated Press in 2014. “I won’t say (he) had the right to go murder him, but I understand when he did.”
According to WVTM 13 News, the shooter’s daughter was sexually assaulted multiple times between the ages of four and nine. Brooks was the victim’s maternal grandfather, the news station reported.
Following her father’s sentencing on Monday, the daughter told WVTM 13 News she is still haunted by the abuse she suffered as a child.
“I’ve tried counseling and that didn’t work and it’s still here today. I relive it every day. I struggle to get out of bed in the morning,” the daughter, who is now 24 years old, told the news station. “I’ve overcome PTSD for a little while and now I’m having to re-overcome something that hasn’t happened in 14, 15, 16 years.”
Speaking with Alabama Local News AL.com, the 24-year-old said her father pleaded guilty to the shooting and accepted the sentence so she wouldn’t have to testify in court.
“Basically he took it so that I didn’t have to relive the molestation and also be on the stand in front of a bunch of people talking about and bringing back memories of the molestation,” she told the news website. “My father was protecting me, like a father should do. He is an amazing father — actually the best. He loves us so much.”
The father was also charged with allegedly opening fire on one of his stepdaughter’s abusive boyfriends outside a convenience store moments before the slaying of Brooks.
Mike Hays, who worked at a restaurant inside the plaza where the shooting occurred, said he came face-to-face with the shooter after the man opened fire outside and then entered a store looking for his intended victim, who wasn’t hurt.
“People here are calling him a hero for killing a child molester. I’m calling him a psychopathic lunatic for endangering peoples’ lives, including mine,” Hays said told the Associated Press at the time.
Global News is not identifying the father to protect the identity of a sexual assault victim.
–with files from The Associated Press