'Justice For Junior': Five Gang Members Sentenced In Fatal Stabbing Of Bronx Teen

Erica Brosnan
October 11, 2019 - 12:45 pm
Lesandro Guzman-Feliz

NYPD

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Five members of the Trinitarios street gang were sentenced Friday for their roles in the brutal stabbing murder of 15-year-old Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz.

Jonaiki Martinez Estrella, 25, was the first to be sentenced for being the one who physically stabbed the teenager in the neck twice, killing him.

He was given life in prison without the chance of parole.

Prosecutors say Martinez Estrella was not remorseful and blamed alcohol and drug use for his behavior.

“I feel bad about the way this kid died. It was not my intention to cause the death of this kid,” he said prior to his sentencing.

According to reports, he was also found with a “one-inch sharpened object in his shoe” as he was brought from jail to court.

Shortly after, three defendants –Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago, 25; Elvin Garcia, 25; and Jose Muniz, 23 – were all sentenced to 25 years to life with the chance on parole.

The fifth gang member, 19-year-old Manuel Rivera, was sentenced to 23 years to life in prison with the chance of parole because of his age at the time of the killing.

In July, all five were found guilty of first-degree and second-degree murder, second-degree conspiracy and second-degree gang assault for the June 2018 murder of 15-year-old Junior.

Surveillance video from the attack shows the five Trinitarios gang members follow the teenager into a Bronx bodega as he attempted to hide from them.

They can be seen dragging Junior out of the shop and on to the sidewalk before Martinez Estrella stabs him twice in the neck. Junior was able to run one block to St. Barnabas Hospital, but didn’t survive.

It was later revealed that the gang members suspected Junior was a member of a rival gang because he was seen near the scene of a shooting days earlier, during which a Trinitarios gang member was struck in the eye by gunfire.

Junior, however, had no ties to any street gangs and had been a member of the NYPD Explorers program, hoping to one day become a police officer.

During his funeral in 2018, he was remembered as “an innocent kid” who had “a great life and a great future ahead of him.”

“Junior is one who said no to the emptiness of street life and said yes to a future of hope and of progress,” said the Rev. Jonathan Morris at his funeral.

While Friday’s sentencing brings some peace to Junior’s family, his mother spoke afterwards saying all members involved in his son’s death “need to pay to consequences.”

A total of eight defendants are currently awaiting trial for their roles in the fatal assault.