Chaos breaks out in courtroom after man pleads guilty to killing his teenage girlfriend

Jeff Ehling Image
Tuesday, October 17, 2023
Chaos erupts in courtroom during murder suspect's guilty plea
ABC13 cameras captured family members fighting during court for Frank DeLeon Jr., who pleaded guilty to the murder of Diamond Alvarez.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Chaos filled the courtroom Tuesday morning after a murder suspect pleaded guilty to killing his teenage girlfriend last year.

Frank DeLeon Jr., 19, agreed to spend 45 years in prison for the January 2022 murder of Diamond Alvarez, who officials say was 16 years old at the time.

DeLeon was out on bond while the case made its way through the courts. The trial was supposed to start Monday, but he did not show up after defense attorneys said he was involved in a car accident on his way to the courthouse and had to go to the hospital.

Because he was not in court Monday, an arrest warrant was issued and DeLeon was taken into custody later that day. He appeared in court Tuesday morning shackled with his arm in a sling.

Moments after Anna Machado, Diamond's mother, gave an impact statement to the court on Tuesday, she and another family member rushed toward DeLeon before being restrained.

PREVIOUS REPORT: Trial delayed for man accused of killing teen girlfriend

A 20-year-old man accused of killing his teenage girlfriend was reportedly involved in a car accident on his way to court.

ABC13 cameras were rolling when the trouble started just after Diamond's mother, Anna Machado, gave a victim's impact statement on the stand. In her comments, she called DeLeon a monster, saying his mother, who was in the gallery, had raised him to be that way.

After that, Machado and another family member rushed toward DeLeon before being restrained by court officials.

The fight lasted for a few minutes before order was restored and the courtroom cleared.

During a press conference after the hearing, the district attorney did not take questions about the fighting, just detailing what's next in the case.

Machado, on the other hand, apologized for her actions during court. Family members said they were satisfied with the 45 years.

On Thursday, there will be a formal sentencing and Diamond's aunt is planned to give an impact statement.

DeLeon will not be eligible for parole for at least 22 and a half years.

For more on this story, follow Jeff Ehling on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

RELATED: Diamond Alvarez's family member goes after suspect in court