HOUSTON—The family of a 14-year-old girl who was murdered last weekend showed up in court Friday.
Although the two suspects charged in the crime didn’t physically appear in court, both were assigned attorneys.
The family of 14-year-old Shatavia Anderson came out to speak about the young girl’s murder and were seen embracing inside the courthouse. Though they were not able to see the men police say are responsible for Anderson’s death, the family said they wanted to be there nonetheless.
Anderson was robbed and killed Saturday less than 100 yards from her family’s apartment in the 1100 block of Langwick Drive, police said. Police said the crime happened at about 12:30 a.m. as Anderson walked to the intersection of Greens Road and Wayforest.
Melvin Alvarado, 22, and Jonathan Ariel Lopez-Torres, 18, confessed that they were involved in the robbery and shooting, police said.
Police said Alvarado shot Anderson in the back and Torres drove the getaway vehicle. Both of the suspects lived in the area where Anderson was robbed and killed, according to police.
Detectives said the suspects saw the girl walking home alone and decided to rob her. Anderson fought back as Alvarado attempted the robbery, Houston Police Sgt. Billy Bush said.
"Something happened between them. She pushed off, and at that point she ran and he says he shot her in the back," said Bush.
Houston police started getting tips Tuesday after they put out a composite sketch of one of the suspects.
"Both of them show to have a criminal history, not a significant criminal history, but they both have been arrested," Bush said.
Anderson’s family members were angered when they learned Alvarado was an illegal immigrant from El Salvador and had previously been deported from the U.S. twice.
Torres, a legal immigrant from Honduras, had no prior criminal convictions.
The two men appeared in a probable cause court on Thursday. The judge refused to set bail.
Anderson’s funeral is planned for Saturday at 10 a.m. at Canaan Missionary Baptist Church located in the 5000 block of Lockwood.
Her family set up a memorial fund at Capital One Bank in Houston.