HOUSTON – Family, friends and supporters of Diamond Alvarez gathered to protest the justice system on Wednesday after the suspect accused of killing the 16-year-old girl was released on bail.
The protest will take place outside the Harris County District Attorney’s office, where they marched to the criminal courthouse.
Alvarez was killed Jan. 11 after she was shot 22 times by her boyfriend, Frank Deleon Jr., 17, in a southwest Houston neighborhood, according to Houston police.
Prosecutors: Teen suspect fired gun at victim, ex-girlfriend before fatally shooting
Investigators said Deleon was romantically involved, or in a love triangle, with Alvarez and another woman. When Alvarez found out about the other relationship, the two agreed to meet around 9:30 p.m. at a park in the 15400 block of Park Manor.
Alvarez’s family said they were walking the family dog, “Peanut,” when they heard gunshots. Her parents became concerned and her mother dialed her phone, but received no answer. Alvarez’s mother and stepfather then came out and found Peanut alone. Immediately they knew something was wrong.
After searching the neighborhood, they found Alvarez lying in a field.
“I tried CPR. I couldn’t bring her back. I tried so hard to keep her alive,” said Anna Machado, the girl’s mother.
Witnesses said they heard several gunshots and then the sound of tires screeching as a vehicle fled the area, according to HPD.
During the investigation, Deleon Jr. was identified as the shooter and was arrested on January 17. He was charged with murder and released the next day after posting $250,000 bond.
READ: Teenage suspect charged with shooting 16-year-old on bail 22 times, court records show
Diamond’s mother, Anna Machado, wonders why he was released from prison. She said she was fed up with judges letting felons post bail and go back to the streets. She said her daughter didn’t deserve to be shot.
READ: ‘Why did he come out?’: Mother of 22-times gunned down teenager wants suspected killer back in jail
“This is a really sensitive case that draws attention to the various systems that our community is lacking. We need to do better to provide families with safer communities and hold everyone accountable for their actions. We will be making several stops to bring attention to the people we need to hold accountable for these cases,” said Cesar Espinosa, Executive Director of FIEL.
The District Attorney’s Office responded to the march with the following statement:
“We are fully focused on getting justice for Diamond. We fully support the removal of violent criminals from our streets, and we will do everything in our power to convict the accused of this vicious murder and bring justice to the Diamond’s family, friends and the entire community,” said Dane Schiller, spokesperson for the Harris County Attorney’s Office.
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