NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - A jury on Friday convicted five reputed gang members of brutally killing Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz outside a Bronx bodega almost a year ago.
The jury found Elvin Garcia, 23; Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago, 24; Manuel Rivera, 18; Jose Muniz, 22; and Jonaiki Martinez Estrella, 24, guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, second-degree gang assault, and second-degree conspiracy.
Defense attorneys argued that their clients only meant to hurt Guzman-Feliz, 15, on the night of June 20, 2018. The defense also said that Junior, as he was affectionately called, was a member of a gang.
But the DA said the five defendants were Trinitarios gang members who mistook Junior for a member of a rival gang and hacked him to death with machetes and knives.
They now face life in prison at sentencing.
Nine other men are in custody in connection with the case and face separate trials on lesser charges.
Junior was a member of the NYPD Explorers program and had said he wanted to become a detective.