Criminal Justice

Man accused of killing 16-year-old Diamond Alvarez in custody after failing to appear in court

Prosecutors say Alvarez was shot 22 times by her former boyfriend, 19-year-old Frank Deleon, in January of 2022.

Harris County Courtroom
Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media
Interior of Harris County’s Criminal Court at Law 13, inside the county’s Criminal Justice Center located in downtown Houston.

A man accused of fatally shooting a 16-year-old girl in 2022 is in custody at a Houston-area hospital after he failed to appear for the first day of his murder trial on Monday.

Authorities say 19-year-old Frank Deleon arranged to meet his former girlfriend, Diamond Alvarez, at a nearby park on the night of Jan. 11, 2022 after she found out that he was in another relationship while they were still together. Once at the park, Deleon allegedly shot Alvarez 22 times and left her body in a field.

Six days later, Deleon was charged with murder and placed on house arrest after posting a $250,000 bond. Months later, he was arrested again after violating his bond conditions. Now, due to his absence from court on Monday, Deleon’s bond has been forfeited and there’s currently a warrant for his arrest.

According to Deleon’s defense attorney, he was in a car accident while making his way to court on Monday and sustained a “significant” head injury that might require medical care. A spokesperson for the DA’s office confirmed that Deleon was in custody at a local hospital.

Jury selection was supposed to begin on Monday, but has been delayed due to Deleon’s absence, according to Steve Walsh, assistant district attorney at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. He added that Deleon will be brought before a judge to determine status of his bond before the trial can resume.

After Monday’s hearing, the Alvarez family said they were tired of the continued delays.

“I’m mentally exhausted, physically and emotionally,” said Anna Machado, Alvarez’s mother. “I need justice for my daughter. It’s not for us, it’s for my daughter, for Diamond. I need her to rest in peace.”