Five gang members who dragged 15-year-old out of Bronx store, stabbed him to death with machete found guilty
15-year-old Lesandro 'Junior' Guzman-Feliz was dragged from a bodega and violently stabbed to death by Jonaiki Martinez Estrella, Elvin Garcia, Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago, Miguel Rivera, and Jose Muniz on June 20, 2018
Five defendants were on Friday found guilty of first-degree murder in the killing of 15-year-old Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz last June in the Bronx.
The killing caused outrage in New York City after a video showed the teen being dragged from a bodega before being violently stabbed to death with a machete.
After debating for just 8 hours, the jury delivered its verdict against Jonaiki Martinez Estrella, Elvin Garcia, Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago, Miguel Rivera, and Jose Muniz, according to the New York Daily News.
Estrella, Garcia, Santiago, Rivera, and Muniz are reportedly members of the Trinitarios street gang. Law enforcement last year revealed that Guzman-Feliz had no affiliation with a gang.
The prosecutors in the case claim that the defendants attacked the teenagers because they mistakenly believed that he had some involvement with a rival group.
There were nine other suspects who were also accused of taking part in the murder. They are due to be called for trial in the near future.
In surveillance footage from June 20, 2018, the reported suspects followed Guzman-Feliz into the bodega and grabbed him. The guys then dragged the 15-year-old toward the door as he struggled.
An NYC police source had previously revealed that the teenager was yelling for help and can be seen clinging to the door frame during the assault, according to People.
Guzman-Feliz, who wanted to become a policeman, was stabbed numerous times in his neck with a machete. Though he managed to flee to a nearby hospital, the teenager succumbed to his injuries over there.
“This 15-year-old boy, moments before death, fought like hell to get away,” Assistant District Attorney Morgan Dolan said during the trail, according to NBC New York.
A few members of the jury were reportedly brought to tears by the graphic autopsy photos.
After the verdict was revealed on Friday, the teenagers' mother Leandra Feliz spoke out. “I’m not going to have my son back but those killers, those murderers are not going to be outside killing other kids. We have to stop the violence and we have to save the city,” she said, according to Pix 11.
The Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said in a statement, “Junior came to symbolize all of the young people who have lost their lives to brutal gang violence. Today’s verdict fortifies the Bronx community’s stand against violence.”