Five members of the Trinitarios gang were handed lengthy prison sentences for the murder of Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz—a 15-year-old who was viciously attacked outside a Bronx bodega in 2018.
According to the New York Times, Manuel Rivera, 19, was sentenced to 23 years to life prison, while his co-defendants—Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago, 25; Jose Muniz, 23; and Elvin Garcia, 25—received 25 years to life. The heaviest sentence was handed to Jonaiki Martinez Estrella, 25, who allegedly plunged a knife into Guzman-Feliz's neck, ultimately killing him. He received life in prison without parole.
The sentences were announced nearly four months after the five gang members were found guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, second-degree conspiracy, and second-degree gang assault.
The Times reports eight other defendants are awaiting trial.
"They killed an innocent child," Feliz-Guzman's mom, Leandra Feliz, 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."
On June 20, 2018, surveillance video captured Feliz-Guzman running into a bodega in the Bronx. He was followed by five men who then dragged him out of the shop and onto to the sidewalk, where others were waiting. Security cameras from nearby buildings captured the gang members attacking Feliz-Guzman, stabbing and hacking him with small knives and machetes. After the men fled the scene, the teen managed to get to the nearby St. Barnabas Hospital. He was pronounced dead just minutes after arriving.
Law enforcement later determined that the attackers had mistaken Feliz-Guzman for a rival gang member.