Remember the tragic story of 15-year old Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz, who was senselessly murdered last year when a group of gang members stabbed him in a NYC bodega and dragged him out onto the street in a case of mistaken identity? Well it tuns out all five members of the gang were handed up to life sentences for that murder today.
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.
“You and your fellow gang members chased down and slaughtered a 15-year-old, defenseless boy in the most gruesome manner and we in this courtroom had the misfortune of witnessing it on tape,” the judge said. “You destroyed a young life, condemned his family and yours to a lifetime of pain and despair.”
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."