Criminal Justice

Brawl in Harris County courtroom after Frank DeLeon Jr. pleads guilty to murder of 16-year-old Diamond Alvarez

The plea deal and sentencing come just a day after DeLeon failed to appear in court.

A fight broke out in a district court Tuesday minutes after Frank DeLeon Jr. pleaded guilty to the murder of Diamond Alvarez. (Screenshot from KHOU)
A fight broke out in a district court Tuesday minutes after Frank DeLeon Jr. pleaded guilty to the murder of Diamond Alvarez. (Screenshot from KHOU)

A violent brawl took place in a crowded district courtroom Tuesday moments after 20-year-old Frank DeLeon Jr. pleaded guilty to murdering his former girlfriend, Diamond Alvarez.

DeLeon agreed to a plea deal on Tuesday, and a judge issued him a 45-year sentence for shooting and killing 16-year-old Alvarez while she was walking her dog near her southwest Houston home last year.

The trial took an unforeseen turn moments after the sentencing when Anna Machado, Alvarez's mother, and other family members sprung at DeLeon before bailiffs intervened to break up the brawl.

Machado apologized for her actions after the trial and told the press that DeLeon was laughing at her face, KHOU, which caught the fight on tape, reported.

The plea deal and sentencing come just a day after DeLeon failed to appear in court on what would’ve been the first day of his murder trial.

The District Attorney’s Office yesterday confirmed that Deleon was in custody at a local hospital after his defense attorney said 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.

Authorities say Frank DeLeon, then 19, arranged to meet his former girlfriend, 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.

Days after the murder, DeLeon was charged and placed on house arrest after posting a $250,000 bond. Months later, he was arrested after violating his bond conditions.