A 19-year-old Houston man has pleaded guilty to the 2022 murder of his former girlfriend, 16-year-old Diamond Alvarez, in exchange for a 45-year prison sentence, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Tuesday.
“This is a heartbreaking domestic violence case of a young girl who was murdered by someone she dated,” Ogg said. “Our office has devoted significant resources, including investigators, prosecutors and public service campaigns to raise awareness about the incredible danger of intimate partner violence to try to end horrible cases like this.”
Frank DeLeon pleaded guilty Tuesday to murder for shooting Alvarez more than 20 times as she walked her dog near her home on January 11, 2022.
Alvarez left her home that night with her dog to meet DeLeon in their neighborhood park after she found out he was in another relationship.
Around 9:30 p.m., her family members heard several gunshots and the dog returned home without Alvarez, prompting a search. They found her shot multiple times in the 15400 block of Park Manor Street, near South Post Oak and Beltway 8.
DeLeon was arrested days later.
The case made headlines because of the violent nature of the crime and DeLeon’s release on bond.
DeLeon was set to begin trial this week when he chose to plead guilty. He cannot appeal the murder conviction or the prison sentence and must serve at least half of the 45 years before he will be eligible for parole.
Assistant District Attorney Steve Walsh and ADA Kim Garcia, who prosecuted the case, were scheduled to pick a jury this week when DeLeon took the plea agreement.
“It was a fair sentence to avoid making Diamond’s family relive the details and trauma of this murder in the context of a jury trial,” Walsh said. “This is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and we want to remind everyone that if you are a victim, or you know a victim, don’t be afraid to call the police. We want to be able to stop things before they get worse.”
DeLeon is expected to return to court Thursday for formal sentencing.
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