Anna Machado and two of her family members attacked Frank DeLeon Jr, 19, during a Tuesday court appearance after he pleaded guilty to the murder of his ex-girlfriend Diamond Alvarez, 16.
DeLeon Jr admitted to shooting the 16-year-old 22 times in January 2022 under a plea deal in exchange for a 45-year prison sentence.
Diamond’s mother, Ms Machado, had just finished giving victim impact testimony in court when she attacked DeLeon Jr.
As DeLeon Jr was ushered to a corner, a bailiff held Ms Machado back as Diamond’s uncle punched DeLeon Jr several times before being tackled to the ground by court employees.
Ms Machado attempted to rush to the defense of her relative but was blocked by DeLeon Jr’s own mother who began to shove her, video footage captured by KHOU from outside the courtroom shows.
The brawling families were then separated before Judge Hazel B Jones ordered the courtroom to adjourn.
Diamond’s uncle was detained and taken away in handcuffs. It is not known whether he has been charged for the incident.
Following the fight, Ms Machado accused DeLeon Jr of smiling during her testimony, calling him a “monster”.
However, she apologised for attacking him and expressed her regret over the courtroom outburst.
“That was wrong of me, that was wrong of us, because we are not monsters,” she said.
“But it’s so much hate, because I want my daughter back, and what he did is horrible, seeing my daughter there and looking at him, knowing he did that, and him laughing at my face, it was very wrong and I’m sorry for that.”
“He’s a monster in my eyes. That would never change. Did he look remorseful at all? No. He was laughing at my face,” she added. “(Like) it’s a joke. A life is not a joke. My daughter’s not a joke.”
Diamond was killed after she discovered DeLeon Jr was seeing another girl and ended their relationship.
DeLeon Jr shot the 16-year-old after asking her to meet up at a park.
Following the shooting, Diamond’s mother found her daughter lying on the ground after hearing gunshots.
She performed CPR on her teenage daughter, to no avail.
DeLeon Jr accepted a plea deal and faces 45 years in prison at his sentencing on Thursday. He will be eligible for parole halfway through the term.