A McAllen man convicted of murdering an accomplished boxer from Reynosa more than a decade ago has lost a federal appeal because he filed it nine years too late.
U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez denied Elias Deleon Jr.’s appeal on Jan. 2 because he failed to show that an extraordinary burden prevented him from filing his appeal within the statute of limitations.
State District Judge Mario E. Ramirez sentenced Deleon to 45 years in prison in 2008 after the man entered a guilty plea to a charge of murder for killing 47-year-old Mexican boxer Roque “Rocky” Montoya.
Deleon used a sawed-off shotgun to shoot Deleon on May 21, 2008. The boxer died a couple weeks later. Three other bar patrons were shot during the incident.
Newspaper archives indicate Deleon held a grudge against Montoya, who was a boxing rival of his father.
The night of the shooting in downtown McAllen, Deleon was thrown out of the bar before returning with the weapon.
In his pro se federal appeal, Deleon had argued that his attorneys provided ineffective assistance by “aiding government” and “tricking” him into entering a guilty plea. He also claimed his conviction was the result of “outrageous state and federal government misconduct.” And because he also entered guilty pleas to three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in addition to the murder charge, he claimed his sentence violated double jeopardy laws.
All of these claims were dismissed due to the statute of limitations.
Newspaper archives show that Montoya won the Texas light featherweight title in 1980 before winning and defending the mexican national lightweight boxing title six times in the 1980s. He retired in 1992 with 21 wins, 15 losses and two ties, according to Monitor archives.