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June 14th, 2010
06:24 AM ET

Killed an alleged molester, should he go to prison?

From CNN intern Sachin Seth:

Aaron Vargas got drunk, picked up his revolver, drove to Darrell McNeill’s home and shot him.  Vargas says McNeill sexually molested him 20 years earlier, when he was his Boy Scout leader.  In the year since the murder, at least a dozen other men have come forward claiming they too were molested by Darrell McNeill.

Supporters are calling for Vargas’ release.  Among them is Elizabeth McNeill, Darrell’s widow.  She told CNN in an email earlier this year she felt sorry for Vargas.  “I love this young man and feel he needs counseling more than anything.”

Vargas’ sister, Mindy Galliani, started a website and a Facebook group asking authorities to not impose a prison sentence and instead help her brother overcome the suffering that began when he was 12 years old.

On the eve of Vargas’ June 14 sentencing hearing, CNN’s Don Lemon spoke to Galliani.

Filed under: Don Lemon
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Daniel

    Sounds to me like he acted in self defense and in the defense of others. Not guilty. Case closed.

    June 14, 2010 at 8:33 am |
  2. SacUser

    He should be charged with Drinking and Driving...that's it!

    June 14, 2010 at 8:45 am |
  3. chuck // coastal n.carolina

    I believe that if we go back to our orginal laws, many of these things would happen..... AN EYE FOR AN EYE.

    June 14, 2010 at 9:35 am |
  4. Angie

    He took the law into his own hands.
    Since the molesting happened years ago, why didn't he tell someone after the molesting happened.
    Other men came forward and said they too were molested.
    Some of those men would not have been molested if Aaron Vargas had told the police the man had raped him back when he was a boy.
    Why didn't all those men who came forward, why didn't any of them report the rape that happened to them? If their rape happened before Vargas rape happened, then Vargas would not have been raped.

    He should be tried for murder. When women are raped, it is always their word against the rapist, no matter how many other women come out afterwords. So the woman who murdered her rapist would still be charged with murder. And so should the man Vargas.

    June 14, 2010 at 9:40 am |
  5. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    He would have got less attention if he would have done this the legal way now he's going to be in prison with a bunch of rapist and a whole lot of soap .

    June 14, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  6. Evelyn

    He should be released, anyone who is familiar with being a victim is aware that it is not that easy to come forward, especially as a child. Who knows what the molester said to Vargas to keep him quiet. Any child molester deserves the same vigilante justice, they are disgusting degenerates and prison (if they are ever caught) is too nice a punishment for them.

    June 14, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  7. Carl

    Killing anyone or anything is absolutely wrong regardless of the rationale for doing it. Justice can be exercised in a myriad of other ways without having to execute someone.

    June 14, 2010 at 10:13 am |
  8. Jean

    You miss the point, Mindy!!!
    Aaron Vargas had a six month old baby girl that the molester was bringing gifts to and asking to baby sit. Various people in town had gone to the police about this man in the past and the police did nothing as the molester was considered a pillar of the community. One can not condone Aaron's behavior. But I, for one, can understand Aaron's actions and evidently so can a great number of other people who knew both men. This case must be judged on an individual basis. To simply follow the law to be following the law is a lower level of thinking.

    June 14, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
  9. Jean

    Mindy, please look up Kohlberg's pyramid of moral reasoning.

    June 14, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
  10. TammyB

    Unfortunately, he needs prison time to be punished for taking a life, however, I believe he should be given leniency due to special circumstances (such as a prison sentence for manslaughter, instead of murder). It really cannot be construed as self-defense, as the molestation was physically over, however, psychologically, it will never be over. I think he should be sentenced at a lesser charge than murder, and given much counseling to heal.

    June 14, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  11. Francesca

    CNN.. don't minimize this. It wasnt just once 20 years ago as it sounds in your opening paragraph... it was ongoing since he was 11.... and it's much more complicated. The man intimated he was going to go after Aaron's baby girl. Parents had gone to the police a long time ago and the police ignored them.... When Aaron heard recently that this man had molested his step son and other friend he realized he wasn't alone and that this man was a serial offender of multiple victims.

    June 14, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  12. Lori

    Obviously there are a couple of ignorant people here who don't know the whole story. Angie for one. Have you ever heard of stockholms syndrome? It happened to Elizabeth Smart who stayed with her abductors for years. Should her abductors have been let go scott free because she didn't leave or tell anyone? NO because she was threatened and brainwashed and in fear for her life. Same with Aaron.
    We'll see how easy it is for you to say such stupid things when it happens to you or someone you love. Read the whole story and you'll know that people did come forward and the cops did nothing. And then his own daughter was threatened. I supposed you would just stand by and let it happen to your kids? If so you're as big a coward as McNeil.

    June 14, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
  13. Mr. Eister

    Maybe he did tell someone? But when you are a kid, and the pervert rapist threatens you, then you're scared. If he did tell the police, and they only said ya ya kid whatever, then ooooh well! He's just one less child molesting creep the world has to worry about. not guilty.

    June 14, 2010 at 9:50 pm |
  14. walter

    Another criminal permanently out of the way. He did good.

    June 15, 2010 at 10:46 am |
  15. Sherry

    Angie, How dare you blame Aaron for others being molested! The authorities knew about this man and chose to do nothing!

    Second of all; I was molested as a child, never came forward until recently. The man who molested me, now has other cases pending with multiple victims! Does this mean its my fault for not speaking out when I was 9 yrs old? I didn't even tell my parents until 3 mo ago. You should be ashamed of yourself insinuating its the VICTIMS are at fault for not coming forward! I pray that you are never raped or a child you love is never molested. Its not as cut and dry as you make it sound! Shame on you!!!!

    June 15, 2010 at 12:49 pm |
  16. Juliette

    Lori you start off sounding good until you get to the part where you say elizabeth smart stayed with her adductors for years it wasn't even a year get YOUR facts straight

    June 15, 2010 at 10:11 pm |
  17. monle

    you want a solution from public, for stoping this desaster ecological.
    I have a solution for you, and I shall tell you what I really think.
    you are going to created a bottom here, in us now. For this people who lose all their jobs and their life family in Louisiana .

    June 15, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
  18. william nugent

    u spoke on it yesterday

    June 18, 2010 at 8:50 am |
  19. william nugent

    dwell on that.....

    June 18, 2010 at 8:51 am |
  20. kandee

    I did not realize until now that Vargas has a six month old daughter the sexual predator was "grooming."

    I don't know any decent father that would not do what Vargas did.

    A typical case where "authorities" are at fault.

    Vargas is not Guilty.

    June 19, 2010 at 9:59 pm |
  21. Sandra

    Like I said...this stuff doesn't just go away.

    June 21, 2010 at 12:18 am |
  22. Sandra

    There's a documentary, Deliver Us From Evil, that gives an account of kids that were abused by a priest. There are a couple of things that jump out at me in that documentary, but one is the difference between the male response and the female response.

    June 21, 2010 at 12:21 am |