Five members of the Trinitarios gang were given life sentences for their role in the tragic death of Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz.
According to WABC, Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago, 25, Jose Muniz, 23, and Elvin Garcia, 25, were all sentenced to 25 years to life. Because of his age, Manuel Rivera, 19, was sentenced to 23 years to life. The group of men was the first batch to be tried in the slaying of the 15-year-old, who died on June 2018. Earlier this summer they were found them guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, conspiracy and second-degree gang assault.
Jonaiki Martinez Estrella, 25, was also sentenced to life in prison without parole. He was the suspect who stabbed Junior in the neck, as seen in the harrowing surveillance footage from a nearby bodega.
“Certain words come to mind when I think about your involvement,” Judge Robert Neary told Martinez Estrella. “Senseless is one of these words. Savage is another word. But the one that often come to my mind is cowardly.”
In court, Estrella told the judge, “I’m sorry” and “My intention was not to cause death.” He also blamed drugs, alcohol, and allegiance to the Trinitarios gang.
Junior’s parents spoke out after the sentencing about their innocent child.
“That night, there were two deaths, Junior and I, who was left dead inside,” Leandra Feliz said. “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.”
Lisandro Guzman, Junior’s father, also spoke about the grieving process. The family has faced heartache following the verdict after the sentencing was delayed three times.
“I struggle daily to find meaning in my life,” he said. “I am no longer the person I once was. It is impossible to find a purpose in life. You will never have the ability to understand the pain that you caused. I will never forgive you. You deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”
SENTENCING IN JUNIOR CASE: ESTRELLA: LIFE WITHOUT PAROLERIVERA: 23 TO LIFEMUNIZ: 25 TO LIFESANTIAGO: 25 TO LIFEGARCIA: 25 TO LIFE #JUSTICEFORJUNIOR
— Anthony Carlo (@AC_TV12) October 11, 2019