Family's fight for full 10% collection on bail after violent offender's release

HOUSTON – On Friday morning, the family of 17-year-old Diamond Alvarez, the teen shot 22 times at a park in southwest Houston, showed up at the Office of Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg.

“I want her with me,” one family member said. “I don’t have to be fighting for justice. You all do something about this.”

Alvarez’s family is fighting for change in the way bond is collected in the county.

“Thanks to that 10% not being enforced, we don’t get to sleep,” said Alvarez’s aunt Blanca Mejia.

Mejia’s comments are in reference to the 17-year-old suspect charged with Alvarez’s death.

Alvarez’s ex-boyfriend Frank Deleon Jr. bonded out of jail after his bond was set at $250,000. He also lives a few blocks away from Alvarez’s family. Machado and other family members question how Deleon is on the streets and want the county to mandate a full 10% collection on bail.  

Last month, the Harris County Bail Bond Board rejected the measure.

“This isn’t just a change for me. This isn’t just a change for Diamond. This is a change for the whole community,” said Mejia.

Bail bondsman Mario Garza will again be voting “No” saying the bondsman association is ready to go to court if it passes. “The ultimate goal should be to bring crime down and I don’t think this does that,” Garza said.

Garza says the laws passed last year need to be better enforced instead of adding new rules.

In the previous vote, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg abstained from voting, however in a statement on Friday from her office it appears she will now be voting in favor of the measure.

”We need a real solution to violent offenders being repeatedly released, and there are serious legal questions about whether the proposed local rule can even be legally enforced. Our duty is to protect the public and the best way to do that is for a Texas law to require a 10% standard here and everywhere in the state,” said Harris County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Dane Schiller.


About the Author: