A father, wanting to protect his family after finding a stranger in his 14-year-old daughter’s bedroom in 2020, took matters into his own hands. He punched, pistol-whipped and shot at the 20-year-old man as he was trying to run away from the Coweta County home.
When the dust had settled, both men were arrested. But over the next three years, following many twists and turns, the father’s charges were dropped and the man he found inside his home was sentenced to probation.
On the Fourth of July during the heart of the coronavirus pandemic, Ismael Casillas-Padilla, who was 41 at the time, was told by a neighbor that a strange vehicle was blocking her driveway. He checked it out, then noticed his daughter’s bedroom window was open. The protective father went back inside, entered the room and found Keywontrezes Humphries standing at the foot of her bed, the Coweta sheriff’s office said.
Shock turned to anger.
A struggle ensued and Humphries jumped through the open window to escape. Casillas-Padilla then asked his wife for his gun. He chased after Humphries and struck him several times, knocking out a few teeth. The father then fired shots and stated he wanted to kill the fleeing Humphries, who drove away to his hometown of Eatonton and checked into a hospital.
The father was charged with aggravated assault and aggravated battery for attacking Humphries, who originally faced a child molestation charge. He was indicted in January 2021 on charges of aggravated child molestation, aggravated sodomy and child molestation.
Investigators sympathized with Casillas-Padilla, but they felt chasing a man who was no longer an immediate threat went too far. Others lent him support and donated to a GoFundMe page that was eventually deleted for violating the platform’s terms of service. All donations were refunded.
Credit: Coweta County Sheriff's Office
Credit: Coweta County Sheriff's Office
While there was probable cause to support Casillas-Padilla’s arrest, prosecutors didn’t believe they could get a conviction due to the nature of the shooting, Coweta Judicial Circuit District Attorney Herb Cranford told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The charges were dismissed.
“If Humphries had been physically injured by Casillas-Padilla’s use of the firearm, my analysis of the charges against him may have been different,” Cranford said.
Humphries’ path toward probation began after text messages were found through discovery indicating the daughter misrepresented her age as 16 — the legal age of consent in Georgia, his attorney Melaney LaGrone told the AJC.
LaGrone said the pair had met online and were “holding themselves out there” as boyfriend and girlfriend. She said Humphries never realized her true age because they were “two young kids” focused on hanging out, instead of meeting parents and friends. That’s why Casillas-Padilla never knew about him. She also said her client was a first-time offender and they weren’t “caught doing anything” in the home.
“Had this young man known the actual age of this young woman, he wouldn’t have been in her bedroom,” LaGrone added.
Humphries recently took a plea deal that dropped two of his charges and reduced the child molestation charge to sexual battery of a minor. He was sentenced to five years of probation, LaGrone said.
“Everyone, I’m sure, they can get upset (about the probation),” his attorney said. “If it was their daughter, they’re going to feel a certain way ... but also put yourself in the shoes of the mom and dad of this young man who was relying on someone telling him the truth.”
The DA’s office said the victim, who now lives in California, at first indicated she wanted Humphries to serve a significant amount of time, but later stated she would rather him get probation than her having to testify. Prosecutors informed Casillas-Padilla they were making the plea recommendation.
Humphries was ordered to register as a sex offender and have no contact with the victim. On Monday, a consent order allowed him to stay at his family’s home despite it being within 1,000 feet of a church.