5 men sentenced in gang murder of NYPD explorer
The gang members wrongfully targeted Lesando “Junior” Guzman-Feliz, believing him to be a rival gang member
Wes Parnell and Larry McShane
New York Post
NEW YORK — Five gang members convicted in the gruesome execution of a 15-year-old Bronx kid wrongly targeted as a rival gangbanger were slammed Friday with lengthy prison terms for the murder.
Three of the murderous quintet were sentenced to 25 years to life, one was imprisoned for life without parole and the youngest killer was sentenced to 23 years to life at the Bronx Supreme Court hearing.
Jonaiki Martinez Estrella, caught on a security video plunging a bread knife through the neck of outnumbered victim Lesando “Junior” Guzman-Feliz, was sentenced to life without parole in the June 20, 2018 killing by members of the Trinitarios gang.
Co-defendant Jose Muniz was sentenced to 25 years to life for attacking the NYPD Explorer with a machete. Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago and Elvin Garcia received the same prison term.
Manuel Rivera, 18, was sentenced to his lesser prison stay because of his age.
A Bronx jury returned a guilty verdict just six days before the first anniversary of the horrifying murder after eight hours of deliberations. Guzman-Feliz was dragged from a Bronx bodega and hacked to death with a machete and knives in the lethal mistaken identity case.
The killing was caught on video and played several times during the five-week trial.
All five defendants were convicted of murder, conspiracy and gang assault in the slaying. The jury determined the cruel quintet tortured the helpless victim before finally murdering him.
A pair of turncoat witnesses detailed the plot concocted by the killers, including the directions given to Guzman-Feliz’s attackers by gang boss Diego Suero.
“If you have a gun, you shoot,” Suero allegedly told them. “If you have a knife, you stab. If you have a machete, use a machete.”