Trinitarios gang members caught on video hacking to death a 15-year-old boy outside a Bronx bodega, convicted after six week trial in the Bronx on Friday
Jonaiki Martinez Estrella, Manuel Rivera, Elvin Garcia, Jose Muniz and Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago, were all convicted of first-degree murder
Jury also found the five gang members guilty of second-degree murder, gang assault and conspiracy
They were among 14 men arrested for the savage slaying of Lesandro ‘Junior’ Guzman-Feliz in The Bronx on June 20, 2018
Surveillance video showed the suspects dragged Junior out of a bodega and butchering him with machete and knives
The men tied to the Trinitarios gang mistook the teenager for a member of the rival Sunset Crew
All five convicted killers face a life in prison at sentencing
Five men on Friday were found guilty of hacking to death Lesandro ‘Junior’ Guzman-Feliz, 15, outside of a Bronx bodega last year
A New York jury this afternoon convicted five suspected members of the Trinitarios street gang of slaughtering a 15-year-old boy outside a convenience store in The Bronx, last year.
The sheer savagery o the brutal attack was caught on video creating a wave of outrage in the city.
Five of over one dozen defendants in the case, Jonaiki Martinez Estrella, 24; Manuel Rivera, 18; Elvin Garcia, 23; Jose Muniz, 22, and Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago, 24, were all convicted on charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, gang assault and conspiracy.
The five were among gaggle of suspects who were arrested in the wake of the June 20, 2018, slaying of Lesandro ‘Junior’ Guzman-Feliz by members the new York based Dominican gang.
Convicted: Manuel Rivera [left], Jonaiki Martinez Estrella [center] and Elvin Garcia [right] were found guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, gang assault and conspiracy
Jurors began deliberations on Thursday. While mulling the verdicts, they asked to re-watch graphic surveillance video showing the moment Guzman-Feliz was dragged out of the convenience store to his death.
They also asked for a rehash of testimony and review all the evidence the prosecution had.
All five convicted killers face a life in prison. Their sentenced has yet to be scheduled.
‘Today’s verdicts will not bring Junior back. Nothing can,’ Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr said in a statement addressing the outcome of the trial. ‘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.’
Before they were in custody NYPD had released photos of these five suspects wanted in connection with Guzman-Feliz’s murder.
Terrifying video shows fatal stabbing of teen in the Bronx
First the gang the gang members spotted aspiring NYPD detective Guzman-Feliz walking the streets and mistook him for a notorious member of the rival Sunset Crew
Junior was dragged out of the shop by his ankles, and savagely hacked away at him with knives and a machete on the corner of the street, by the five
Alleged fatal machete blow suspect: Joniki Martinez-Estrella was the one who delivered the fatal blow that ended teen’s life, cops said
When the gruesome video capturing her son’s final moments was played for the jury last month, Leandra Feliz began howling in agony and had to be escorted out.
According to Trinitarios gang member and cooperating witness Michael Sosa Reyes, Trinitarios ringleader Diego Suero ordered his followers to go after the rival Sunset Crew that evening last June.
Shortly afterwards, the gang members spotted Guzman-Feliz on the sidewalk and mistook him for a member of the rival clique.
At first the men perused him in cars and blocked him from seeking refuge inside a hospital, before pursuing him on foot.
Victim’s mother, Leandra Feliz who has been shattered by the death of her innocent son holds a photo of Lesandro Guzman-Feliz
Reyes recalled for the jury the moment he chased Junior inside the bodega, falsely telling the shopkeeper the boy had ‘done something’ to his grandmother, and needed to be dealt with.
He watched on as other members of the Trinitarios gang dragged te terrified 15-year-old out of the store by his ankles, and savagely hacked away at him with knives and a machete on the corner of the street.
Reyes testified it was Estrella who used a four-and-a-half inch knife to slice Guzman-Feliz’s jugular vein, causing him to bleed out in the street.
The remaining nine suspects will be tried for Guzman-Feliz’s murder in September.