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A New York City court on Friday handed out lengthy prison sentences in the mistaken-identity murder of a 15-year-old boy by members of a street gang known to be MS-13-like ruthlessness.
Surveillance footage showed a Lesandro “Junior,” Guzman-Feliz was attacked with knives and a machete by the Trinitario gang members in June of 2018 and beyond — a murder that shocked New York and the nation. Guzman-Feliz has been followed in a Bronx bodega, and dragged into the street before he was to be of the essence. The police said that the killers had made a mistake “Young” for a member of a rival gang.
The sentences were spoken after the boy’s mother told the judge her son’s killers took the life of an innocent person.
THE BAND IS JUST AS FALSE AS THE MS-13, BUT WITHOUT AWARENESS: ON THE SURFACE, TRINITARIOS, BACK INTO THE SPOTLIGHT AFTER YEARS IN SHADOWS
Lesandro “Junior,” Guzman-Feliz. The New York City Police Department)
“That night, there were two deaths, a Junior, and I was left behind, the death of Leandra Feliz said, according to WABC-TV.
Guzman-Feliz, who lived about a block from where he was killed, wanted to be in the police force. He was a member of the NYPD Explorers program, which introduces young men and women for a career in law enforcement and criminal justice.
“Take care of my son’s dreams come true,” said Leandra Feliz, according to the station. “These are murderers” were never going to be able to make the step from a prison cell, so that they will know at the time that they killed my son, and it took a life of their own.”
GANG MEMBER FOUND GUILTY IN MISTAKEN-IDENTITY STABBING DEATH OF BRONX TEEN
The most severe penalty was handed a 25-year-old Jonaiki Martinez, Estrella, who, prosecutors said, struck the blow which eventually killed the Lot. Estrella was given a life sentence with no chance of parole, the New York Post reported.
At one point, the NYPD had the feeling the police officer looked at Lesandro “Junior,” Guzman-Feliz, as he bled to death.
Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago, 25, Jose Muniz, 23, Elvin Garcia, 25, were each convicted and sentenced to life in prison with possibility of parole after 25 years, the Post reported.
Manuel Rivera, 19, was sentenced to 23 years to life.
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Other Trinitarios were arrested in the case, in anticipation of the tests, the paper reported.
“Junior came to be a symbol of all the young people who have lost their lives in the brutal violence of the gangs,” the Bronx district Attorney Darcel Clark said back in June, and the results reinforce the Early community to stand up against the violence.”
Eight other defendants are scheduled to go on trial on Oct. 22.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.