HOUSTON – One day after being taken into custody for violating bond conditions, bond has been reinstated for a teen suspect accused of shooting a 16-year-old girl 22 times, records show. Then on Thursday, the judge upheld her reinstatement after saying prosecutors failed to make their case during a hearing to prove Deleon was in violation of his bond.
Frank Deleon Jr., 17, is accused of fatally shooting Diamond Alvarez in a southwest Houston neighborhood on Jan. 11 while she was walking her family’s dog. Deleon was arrested on Jan. 17. He was charged with murder and released the next day after posting a $250,000 bond.
Records say Deleon failed to comply with curfew requirements and had an “unapproved leave from his home zone on or around 5:10 p.m. to 5:12 p.m.” on March 28. He was arrested on Tuesday.
But now, a Harris County Criminal District Court docket sheet shows Deleon’s bond is once again $250,000. At Thursday’s hearing, prosecutors called a witness from Sentenel, a GPS monitoring service, who testified there were satellite pings from the device around Deleon’s home. The witness said it was possible Deleon might have left the house based on that data but said he could not say for certain since he was not present. As a result of that testimony, the judge said she could not revoke Deleon’s bond because prosecutors didn’t adequately prove Deleon left his house and violated a condition of his bond.
Prior to the hearing, a male family member of Diamond Alvarez tried to attack Deleon in court but was escorted out of the courtroom by Harris County sheriff’s deputies.
So what does that mean?
KPRC 2 reached out to Mario Garza, president of Harris County Professional Bonding Association, who explained that when a reinstatement occurs, it simply means the judge placed the original back into effect. No new money is paid.
When a bond is revoked, as Deleon’s was, the judge can choose to:
-Set a new bail (defendant has to pay again for a new bond)
-Raise the bond amount (defendant has to pay for a new bond)
-Re-instate the bond (defendant pays no money and released on the original $250,000 bond posted by the original bonding company)
-Before bail reform, the District Attorney used to submit a motion to reinstate, which needed be signed by the bondsman, DA, and judge. The bondsman had to agree with it in order for it to be reinstated. Now, they don’t do that anymore.
Investigators said Deleon was romantically involved, or in a love triangle, with Alvarez and another teen. When Alvarez found out about the other relationship, investigators said the two agreed to meet around 9:30 p.m. at a park located in the 15400 block of Park Manor.
Alvarez’s family said when she was outside walking their dog, they heard gunshots. Her parents became concerned and her mother called her phone but received no response. Alvarez’s mother, Anna Machado, and stepfather then went outside and found the pet alone. After searching the neighborhood, Alvarez’s family said they found the girl’s body lying in a field.
Alvarez family reacts to second arrest
Alvarez’s family and FIEL director Cesar Espinosa held a press conference Tuesday morning following the news of Deleon’s arrest. Espinosa said although the suspect only violated two minutes of his required curfew time, that was enough time to make it to the home of the Alvarez family.
“We celebrate the fact that Frank is where he needs to be, in custody,” Espinosa said. “The family now feels safer that he is back in custody.”
They continue to ask the judge to not give him a second chance to go out and do more harm to the Alvarez family.
Blanca Maria, a family member of Alvarez, said they are happy he was taken in but that it doesn’t stop here. She said his friends and family have attacked their family in the past and asked the judges and bail bonds to stop pointing the finger and make Deleon be held responsible for his actions.
“He does not care for his life in the same way he didn’t care about Diamond’s life,” Blanca said.
The family asked the judge to not give him another chance and hopes he does not get another bond or that if he does get a third chance, it will be a minimum 10% bond.
“I’m glad he is where he’s supposed to be. He doesn’t deserve and third, fourth, fifth chance,” said Ana Machado, the mother of Diamond Alvarez. “Enough is enough. It was a relief when I heard about his arrest. I screamed, I cried and I still have to wait for the judge’s decision. Nothing is going to bring my daughter back. I don’t think he deserves another bond.”
KPRC 2 has reached out to the District Attorney’s Office for comment and is awaiting response.