Jury Finds 5 Gang Members Guilty of First-Degree Murder in Bronx Teen’s Death

A jury reached a verdict in the case of five suspects who were accused of killing 15-year-old Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz of murder.

Jonaiki Martinez Estrella, Manuel Rivera, Elvin Garcia, Jose Muniz, and Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago were found guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, conspiracy, and gang assault, PIX11 reported.

Estrella has been accused of delivering the killing blow.

Junior’s slaying outside a bodega in the Bronx was captured on surveillance footage, CBS New York reported.

Prosecutors said the suspects killed the teen after mistaking him for a rival gang member.

After the verdict was read, his mother said that she hopes “divine and earthly justice be served, with God. Justice for Junior,” ABC7 reported.

Prosecutors said the suspects were members of the Trinitarios gang and were set out to harm rival gang members before they killed Junior, NY1 reported.

Two of the suspects who were charged, Kevin Alvarez and Michael Reyes, became cooperating witnesses, the report said.

The other nine men in the case will be tried at a later date, NY1 reported. All of the defendants pleaded not guilty and face the possibility of life in parole.

The other suspects are slated to appear in court on July 16.

Junior, meanwhile, was part of the New York City Police Department’s Explorers Program, which is for youths interested in law enforcement, and he also dreamed of becoming a police officer.

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Author: Jack Phillips