Lesandro ‘Junior’ Guzman-Feliz Trial Update: What’s the Latest?

Lesandro 'Junior' Guzman-Feliz

Twitter/Getty Lesandro 'Junior' Guzman-Feliz

On June 20, 2018, Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz was murdered by members of the Trinitarios gang in the Bronx. The graphic footage of the killing sent shockwaves through the country and the world.

In the disturbing video (warning: graphic content) a group of men can be seen dragging Guzman-Feliz out of the Bronx bodega, then using knives and a machete to viciously stab the defenseless teenager.

Police reports indicate that the killers believed Guzman-Feliz to be a member of the rival “Sunset” gang, and the murder was, in fact, a case of mistaken identity.

5 Accused Suspects Were Convicted of Junior’s Murder in June 2019

In June 2019, nearly one year after the murder took place, five accused suspects were convicted of Guzman-Feliz’s murder: Jonaiki Martinez Estrella, Manuel Rivera, Elvin Garcia, Jose Muniz, and Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, gang assault, and conspiracy.

It took the jury eight hours, over the course of two days, to deliver the verdict.

According to Pix 11, all men showed “no emotion” as their verdicts were read aloud, apart from Jose Minuz, who was identified as the who used a machete on Guzman-Feliz.

The outlet reports that after he was convicted, Minuz smirked at the court and shouted, “Popote, hasta la muerte!”, which is Spanish slang for “Trinitarios until death.”

The 5 Men Were Sentenced to Life in Prison in October 2019

In total, fourteen men have been arrested in connection with the 15-year-old’s murder.

In October 2019, The New York Times reported that the five men seen in the video footage were found guilty of murder and gang assault, and sentenced to life in prison for the attack. In court, Justice Robert A. Neary called the killing “senseless”, “savage”, and “cowardly.”

Martinez, who was identified as the man who struck the blow that killed Guzman-Feliz, was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Muniz, Garcia, and Rodriguez Hernandez were deemed eligible for parole in 25 years, and Mr. Rivera after 23 years, according to the New York Times. 

The same week that the New York Times published news of the five men’s sentencing, they also revealed that 15 more members of the same gang had been indicted and accused of helping carry out the attack.

The Second Trial Was Recently Delayed

Some men involved in the case are still awaiting trial. On January 6, Pix 11 reported that a second trial in the murder was delayed because the defense lawyer for the accused, Diego Suero, had passed away.

Suero was supposed to go on trial the week of January 6 along with Frederick Then, who allegedly rode in one of the getaway cars the night of Junior’s murder.

News 12 The Bronx reports that Suero was the “second in charge” of the Bronx Los Sures of the Trinitarios gang, and was accused of ordering members of the gang to attack Junior the night of his death.

News 12 The Bronx reports Guzman-Feliz supporter Yvette Rodriguez as saying to Suero, “You were not in the camera, you were not in the scene, but yet the scene came through because of the orders from you.”

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