Five men have been found guilty of murdering Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz, the 15-year-old teenager brutally stabbed outside a Bronx bodega almost a year ago to the day. On Friday, Jonaiki Martinez Estrella, Jose Muniz, Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago, Manuel Rivera, and Elvin Garcia, thought to be part of the Trinitarios gang, were found guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and gang assault, as ABC7 reports. They face life in prison.
The night of June 20th, 2018, a group of men wielding knives and machetes attacked Guzman-Feliz outside the Cruz & Chiky Bodega. Authorities believe it was a case of mistaken identity, with roots in an ongoing scuffle within two warring factions of the Trinitarios gang, "Los Sures" and "Sunset." Prosecutors have said that Los Sures members mistook Guzman-Feliz for a member of Sunset, and went for him. He ducked into the bodega, but was then dragged out and ambushed by several men.
A gory video circulated around social media following the attack, in which one of Guzman-Feliz's attackers can be heard saying that the teenager attacked his grandmother. He died shorty after, of a knife wound to his jugular vein, before reaching the local St. Barnabas Hospital.
"Today’s verdicts will not bring Junior back. Nothing can. But these verdicts will send a message to those who would commit acts of senseless violence, and help us move forward and bring closure to this awful chapter in our borough’s history,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., in a statement emailed to Gothamist.
One man involved in the attack, Kevin Alvarez, plead guilty back in May for his involvement in Guzman-Feliz's murder. Nine other people are awaiting trial for their involvement in the teenager's death.