Five gang members convicted in the brutal killing of Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz outside a Bronx bodega were sentenced Friday and could spend the rest of their lives behind bars. Jonaiki Martinez Estrella, 25, who delivered the fatal blow by stabbing Junior in the neck, was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Prosecutors said that he was not remorseful and that, in fact, a correction officer found him in a one-inch sharp object in his shoe on the way to court Friday morning.
In court, he told the judge, “I’m sorry” and “My intention was not to cause death,” blaming drugs, alcohol, and allegiance to the Trinitarios gang. His attorney says he plans to appeal. Twenty-five-year-old Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago, 23-year-old Jose Muniz, and 25-year-old Elvin Garcia were all sentenced to 25 years to life, while 19-year-old Manuel Rivera was sentenced to 23 years to life because of his age at the time of the crime.
Junior’s mother and father delivered heartbreaking victim impact statements, saying that justice was served but their lives will never be the same It was a moment Leandra Feliz has been waiting to do for months, after the sentencing had been delayed three times.
Surveillance video from a Bathgate Avenue bodega showed some of them dragging Junior out into the street where he was stabbed to death, only about a block away from his apartment. The brutality of the murder drew nationwide attention and sparked the #JusticeForJunior hashtag. Since the murder, his mother has moved away. Her new home is filled with pictures and artwork paying tribute to her son who had planned to someday become a police officer.
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