HOUSTON - Frank DeLeon Jr. appeared in court on Tuesday to plead guilty to shooting 16-year-old Diamond Alvarez in the back 22 times killing her.
DeLeon was originally supposed to appear in court on Monday, but his defense attorney told the court that he was in an accident on the way to the courthouse. A judge revoked DeLeon’s bond and put a warrant out for his arrest. He later surrendered and was taken into custody.
A Harris County Judge offered DeLeon a 45-year prison sentence in exchange for his guilty plea.
During his rescheduled court appearance on Tuesday, the family of Alvarez was in attendance.
Alvarez's mother, Anna Machado, took the stand Tuesday and called DeLeon "a monster" during her impact statement.
Another one of Alvarez's family members then lunged at DeLeon, who was sitting down with his attorneys, and a fight broke out between the two families in court. Alvarez's mother and DeLeon's mother were also seen physically going after each other. Security had to intervene and separate the two families.
Machado later apologized on behalf of the family.
"That was wrong of me. That was wrong of us because we’re not monsters. But it’s so much hate because I want my daughter back. And what he did was horrible. Diamond for her justice. I just want to move forward. Whatever happened, that was wrong of us, and I apologize for that. I apologize to the judge and I apologize to them," Machado said.
As part of the deal, prosecutors said he waived his right to appeal.
Attorneys say DeLeon's final sentencing will happen on Thursday.
Prosecutors say DeLeon will be eligible for parole after serving approximately 22.5 years, which is half of his sentence.