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Thread: Lesandro Guzman-Feliz (15) innocent boy killed in 2018 by a street gang

  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    Lesandro Guzman-Feliz (15) innocent boy killed in 2018 by a street gang

    NEW YORK (WABC) -- Five gang members convicted in the brutal killing of Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz outside a Bronx bodega were sentenced Friday and could spend the rest of their lives behind bars.

    Jonaiki Martinez Estrella, 25, who delivered the fatal blow by stabbing Junior in the neck, was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

    Prosecutors said that he was not remorseful and that, in fact, a correction officer found him in a one-inch sharp object in his shoe on the way to court Friday morning.

    In court, he told the judge, "I'm sorry" and "My intention was not to cause death," blaming drugs, alcohol, and allegiance to the Trinitarios gang. His attorney says he plans to appeal.

    Twenty-five-year-old Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago, 23-year-old Jose Muniz, and 25-year-old Elvin Garcia were all sentenced to 25 years to life, while 19-year-old Manuel Rivera was sentenced to 23 years to life because of his age at the time of the crime.

    Junior's mother and father delivered heartbreaking victim impact statements, saying that justice was served but their lives will never be the same

    It was a moment Leandra Feliz has been waiting to do for months, after the sentencing had been delayed three times.

    "They killed an innocent child," she said. "Of all these men, not a single one of them said, 'No, no, don't do it.' That night, there were two deaths, Junior and I, who was left dead inside. As a young boy, my son dreamed of becoming a detective, so he could protect this city...Please make sure my son's dreams come true. These killers should never be able to step out of a jail cell, so they know the moment they killed my son, they took their own lives as well."

    Lisandro Guzman, Junior's father, said he can't sleep and that weekends are the worst because that's when he would spend time with his son.

    "I struggle daily to find meaning in my life," he said. "I am no longer the person I once was. It is impossible to find purpose in life. You will never have the ability to understand the pain that you caused. I will never forgive you. You deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law."
    In June, a jury found the men guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, conspiracy and second-degree gang assault, for the June 2018 murder of 15-year-old Junior.

    Surveillance video from a Bathgate Avenue bodega showed some of them dragging Junior out into the street where he was stabbed to death, only about a block away from his apartment.

    The brutality of the murder drew nationwide attention and sparked the #JusticeForJunior hashtag.

    Since the murder, his mother has moved away. Her new home is filled with pictures and artwork paying tribute to her son who had planned to someday become a police officer.

    Eight other defendants in the case are still awaiting trial.

  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    THE BRONX — Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz was supposed to graduate from Dr. Richard Izquierdo Health and Science Charter School in the Bronx this week.

    Instead, his parents will mark the second anniversary of his 2018 murder outside a Bathgate Avenue bodega on Saturday.

    Yet the teachers and students who knew “Junior” in middle and high school classes haven’t forgotten the popular student, who was just 15 and finishing his sophomore year when he was fatally stabbed by a mob of Trinitarios gang members in what police called a case of mistaken identity.

    Guzman-Feliz was included in a video tribute prepared this week for the class of 2020.

    And he will also be featured in the yearbook, said one of the school deans, Arn Gay.

    “I feel grateful for what they did,” said Guzman-Feliz's mother, Leandra Feliz, “because they remembered him.”

    His former dean and basketball coach, known as Mr. G, sent a heartfelt message about the slain teen to PIX11:

    “Junior, I wish you were present to receive your diploma as the rest of your classmates [did]. You were truly missed yet never forgotten. I hope you are proud of how I plan on carrying on your name through sports. Even though you never won against me, you will always be a champion of change in my heart. I love you.”

    The chase and murder of Guzman-Feliz on June 20, 2018 made international headlines, because the final minutes of the teen’s life were captured on multiple surveillance cameras in heartbreaking detail.

    Guzman-Feliz was spotted at about 11:30 p.m. near a park close to his home in the Belmont section of the Bronx.

    A convoy of four cars carrying alleged Trinitarios gang members were hunting for rivals when they spotted Junior. The teen was chased at least five blocks, literally running out of his sandals, before frantically seeking shelter inside the corner bodega located at Bathgate Avenue and East 183rd Street.

    Police said a total of 15 gang members were involved in the chase.

    Several reputed gang members followed Guzman-Feliz into the bodega, while others paced outside with weapons. Junior was ultimately dragged from behind the counter and out to the sidewalk, where five gang members set upon him with knives and a machete.

    The dying teen, who received a lethal wound to the neck, made a second, futile attempt to get help inside the bodega, before being pointed towards St. Barnabas Hospital a block away.

    The teen collapsed outside a security booth before reaching the emergency room and bled to death. His last words were “water, water.”

    Two years later, the five gang members convicted of first degree murder in a first trial last June are all serving state prison time. All face a maximum of life in prison.

    But the eight other defendants who still await trial will be waiting indefinitely, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The accused leaders of the Los Sures set of the gang — Diego Suero and Frederick Then — were originally set for trial in February this year, but that was delayed by the death of one the defense attorneys, and then coronavirus.

    “They’re not going to be going on trial this summer,” said Patrice O’Shaughnessy, communications director for Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark.

    O’Shaughnessy explained to PIX11 the court system needs to figure out a safe way to bring back jury pools to the courthouse for trials.

    Suero remains held without bail at the North Infirmary Command on Rikers Island.

    Frederick Then is not listed on the inmate roster with the New York City Department of Correction, and it’s believed he’s being held at a facility outside city limits.

    Five of the six defendants who will face second degree murder charges at a later trial are housed in the Manhattan Detention Complex in lower Manhattan. They’re charged with being part of the planning and chase that led to Guzman-Feliz’s killing.

    Luis Cabrera-Santos, an accused getaway driver, is housed on Rikers Island.

    Guzman-Feliz's mother told PIX11 the social media tributes for her son this week are painful for her to see.

    She will mark the second anniversary of her son's murder with a small, private mass arranged by a friend.

    The teen’s former dean shared with us something "Junior" had told him in 8th grade.

    “I never have self-doubt,” the dean quoted Guzman-Feliz saying. “No one will ever change me, because that starts with me.”

  3. #3
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    Here is the cause that lead to the death and the guilty verdicts in the death of Junior Guzman Feliz.

    The 15-year-old who was dragged out of a Bronx bodega and butchered on the street like an animal may have been the victim of a tragic case of mistaken identity — involving a raunchy sex video, according to police sources.

    Detectives are probing whether Lesandro Guzman-Feliz’s attackers mistook him for the person in a sex video posted online featuring a relative of one of his attackers, two high-ranking police sources told The Post.

    Guzman-Feliz was dragged by the hood of his shirt out of the Cruz and Chiky grocery on East 183rd Street and Bathgate Avenue in Belmont on Wednesday night. His five attackers then hacked at the shrieking teen with a large blade as another one punched him over and over, before the group sped off in two cars.

    Guzman-Feliz, who lived in the area with his family, ran toward nearby St. Barnabus Hospital before he died of his injuries just feet away, police said.

    His mom told The Post on Saturday that her son was a “sweet kid” who aspired to one day become a cop.

    “His dream in the future was to be a detective,” Leandra Feliz, 48, told The Post. “Since he was 5 years old, he told me, ‘Mommy, I want to be a police.'”
    He was enrolled in the NYPD Explorers program, a program for youth ages 14 to 20 who are interested in a career in law enforcement, police sources said.

    “He loved the police car,” she added, using her hands as a steering wheel. “[He said], ‘I wanna drive the police car.’”

    Feliz said her son was never in a gang.

    “Tell me, what bad thing that a kid like that do?” she said. “Five men with machetes. A kid, with no weapon. Alone. Why kill him like that?”

    Guzman-Feliz said she did not know if her son had been targeted.

    “Not that I know of because my son never had any problems,” she said. “In his 15 years, he never had not even one fight with nobody, not even in the school. And all his friends love him.”

    “I have no reason to live my life,” she added through tears. “They kill him. They kill me, too. I’m ready to die. You can put me with my son.”

    Detectives are “still sorting out ton of information/misinformation,” another police source said.

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