Jury Finds All Five Defendants Guilty Of Murdering Bronx Teen 'Junior' Guzman-Feliz
Two of the suspects reportedly smirked after the verdict was announced, while another shouted “Hasta la muerte” (“Until I die”) on the way out of the courtroom.
A jury has found five defendants guilty of murdering Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz, the Bronx teen who was fatally stabbed with a machete last year.
Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago, Elvin Garcia, Manuel Rivera, Jose Muniz, and Jonaiki Martinez Estrella were found guilty of first- and second-degree murder, gang assault, and conspiracy in the second degree on Friday afternoon, according to Spectrum News NY1.
Prosecutors argued that the men were members of the Trinitarios gang and killed Guzman-Feliz in a case of mistaken identity as they were on a mission to hurt rival gang members.
Upon hearing the verdict, two of the suspects smirked; another suspect shouted “Hasta la muerte” (“Until I die”) on the way out of the courtroom.
Kevin Alvarez and Michael Reyes, two of the men charged, were initially suspects in the case before becoming cooperating witnesses.
Following news of the verdict, Leandra Feliz, Junior’s mother, offered the following statement according to CBS New York:
“I’m not going to have my son back. But those killers, those murderers, they were going to be outside killing another kid. My son was a good kid. He only was 15 years old. He was doing the best in the school at the time when that tragedy happened. He was in the [NYPD] Explorers program. He was a really good kid. He never been into any problem in his life until those killers murdered my son.”
The 15-year-old Junior attended Dr. Richard Izquierdo Health & Science Charter School. He was dragged out of the Cruz and Chiky bodega and attacked with a machete and knives on June 20, 2018.
Nine other suspects are also accused of taking part in the assault. Those nine will be tried at a later date.