Courtroom Brawl Caught On Video Showing Murder Victim’s Family Attack Handcuffed Defendant

(Screenshot/KSAT 12)

John Oyewale Contributor
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A massive brawl erupted Friday in a south-central Texas district court as a murder victim’s family members attacked the defendant, a video showed.

Family members of Ethan Soto, 15, allegedly shot dead by 18-year-old Victor Nathaneal Rivas, savaged Rivas as two sheriff’s deputies struggled to stop the attack and other law enforcement agents rushed in to help the deputies, per the video via KSAT 12.

Rivas had allegedly gestured towards the family members during the preliminary hearing in the 144th Criminal District Court in Bexar County, prompting them to jump over a partition and descend on Rivas, KSAT 12 reported. The assault left Rivas “swollen and bruised,” his attorney Adam LaHood reportedly said.

LaHood added that the deputies had warned Rivas before the hearing: “Don’t talk to family,” the San Antonio Express-News reported. (RELATED: Courtroom Brawl Breaks Out After Slain Girl’s Family Attacks Alleged Killer)

Rivas is charged with Soto’s murder which occurred on May 16, 2022, per Bexar County court records. Rivas was arrested Sept. 7, 2022, a separate KSAT 12 report noted. Soto allegedly robbed Rivas of cannabinoid cartridges on May 15, drawing gunfire from Rivas that did not injure Soto. Soto’s mother allegedly paid Rivas for the stolen drug cartridges in a bid to settle the dispute. Rivas, then 17 years old, allegedly went on to recruit an underage girl to arrange the purchase of the cartridges from Soto via Instagram. The girl set up a meeting with Soto, who arrived at the location only to be allegedly ambushed and fatally shot by Rivas around 3 p.m. Soto then reportedly fled in his Jaguar and after having later abandoned it, reported it stolen. Soto’s mother confronted Rivas about the shooting but he denied any involvement. However, an arrest warrant affidavit held that Rivas later admitted to wishing to shoot Soto but not to kill him over $60, per KSAT.

Two adult males and two male minors were arrested after the brawl, will be charged with assault and disruption of court proceedings, and are unlikely to attend future court hearings on the murder case, KSAT noted.