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Justice for ‘Junior’: 12 suspects plead not guilty in Lesandro Guzman-Feliz murder

All of the suspects are purported members of the Trinitarios street gang, officials said.

Lesandro

Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz was murdered on June 20. Tweleve men have been charged in connection to his killing. Photo Credit: NYPD via Twitter

All 12 suspects indicted by a grand jury in connection with the murder of Bronx teen Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz pleaded not guilty in court Wednesday.

The suspects, all of whom are purported members of the Dominican gang Trinitarios, appeared in front of a judge as family and friends of Guzman-Feliz sat in the pews.

As the first pair of defendants exited the courtroom, a woman, identified in reports as the teen’s mother, can be heard yelling “asesino,” which means murderer in Spanish.

“They [killed] my son. They [killed] my baby,” Leandra Feliz, the teen’s mother, said outside the courthouse following the arraignment. “They did not kill a man, a gang member or nothing.”

Guzman-Feliz, 15, was killed on June 20 in a case of mistaken identity — an innocent victim of gang violence, according to police and the Bronx district attorney’s office.

The teen was on his way home when he encountered the suspects, who chased him into a bodega in Belmont, dragged him out onto the sidewalk and stabbed him repeatedly with knives and a machete, according to police. He died after running to nearby St. Barnabas Hospital and collapsing at the entrance.

The attack was caught on surveillance video, which was widely shared on social media.

“This was an intra-gang conflict, where the defendants allegedly plotted to attack and upset [other] Trinitarios, and allegedly committed a crime that has shocked people everywhere for its brutality,” Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said during a news conference on Wednesday. “This indictment is an early step in the criminal justice process, so I ask the community to be patient as the case takes its course.”

Below are all the suspects:

  • Luis A. Cabrera Santos, 25, of the Bronx: Charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, conspiracy, gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon.
  • Danilo Payamps Pacheco, 21, of the Bronx: Charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, conspiracy, gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon.
  • Gabriel Ramirez Concepcion, 26, of the Bronx: Charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, conspiracy, gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon.
  • Diego Suero, 29, of the Bronx: Charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, conspiracy, gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon.
  • Jose Muniz, 21, of the Bronx: Charged with first- and second-degree murder, manslaughter, conspiracy, gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon.
  • Jose Taverez, 21, of the Bronx: Charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, conspiracy, gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon.
  • Jonaiki Martinez-Estrella, 24, of Freeport: Charged with first- and second-degree murder, manslaughter, conspiracy, gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon.
  • Danel Fernandez, 21, of the Bronx: Charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, conspiracy, gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon.
  • Manuel Rivera, 18, of the Bronx: Charged with first- and second-degree murder, manslaughter, conspiracy, gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon.
  • Antonio Hernandez-Santiago, 24, of the Bronx: Charged with first- and second-degree murder, manslaughter, conspiracy, gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon.
  • Elvin Garcia, 23, of Manhattan: Charged with first- and second-degree murder, manslaughter, conspiracy, gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon.
  • Kevin Alvarez, 19, of the Bronx: Charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, conspiracy, gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

The suspects are purported members of the “Los Sures” set within the Trinitarios gang and Suero is believed to be their leader, Clark said.

On the night of the attack, they met up at Suero’s Boston Road home and plotted to attack a rival set of Trinitarios called “Sunset,” according to Clark. The men got into four vehicles and drove into “Sunset” territory, where they encountered Guzman-Feliz, the district attorney said.

Believing Guzman-Feliz was a member of that gang, they chased the teen into the bodega and attacked him, according to Clark. However, Guzman-Feliz was an innocent teenager who had no gang affiliations, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said.

“I’ve been a cop for almost 36 years now, and it’s one of the worst things I’ve ever seen; and I’ve seen a lot of disturbing things,” O’Neill said of the surveillance video of the stabbing.

After the attack, the group went back to Suero’s house, where they hid weapons and helped Garcia, whose hand was injured during the attack, before splitting up, according to Clark.

O’Neill credited the NYPD’s quick arrests to great police work and the “unrivaled help, the outpouring of nonstop assistance,” from the public.

All 12 suspects were remanded to jail until their next court appearance, which was set for Oct. 25, per the district attorney’s office.

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