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Five gang members have now pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the case of a 15-year-old Bronx teen who was dragged from a bodega and stabbed to death.
Nearly a dozen members of the “Los Sures” set of the Trinitarios gang mistakenly believed that Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz was a member of a rival gang when they chased him for blocks and then dragged him out of the convenience store where he had been trying to hide. Once outside, they attacked him with knives and a machete in a gruesome execution caught on the bodega’s surveillance footage in June 2018.
On Wednesday, Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark announced that another five of the gang members responsible for the stabbing have now pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter, according to a statement provided to Oxygen.com.
Ronald Urena, 33, Luis Cabrera Santos, 29, Gabriel Ramirez Concepcion, 30, and Danilo Payamps Pacheco, 26, all pleaded guilty to the crime in the Bronx Supreme Court on Wednesday. Jose Tavarez, 26, had already pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter on Nov. 16.
The men have not been formally sentenced, but are expected to receive prison terms ranging from 12-15 years for their role in what Clark described as a “horrendous tragedy.”
“The defendants’ actions culminated in the brutal attack on Lesandro ‘Junior’ Guzman. They along with seven other defendants have been held accountable in the killing of the 15-year-old boy which horrified the Bronx and beyond,” Clark said. “Since Junior was taken from his family, we have been relentless to attain justice for him.”
The five defendants were part of a group of nearly a dozen men who attacked Guzman-Feliz on the night of June 20, 2018. According to prosecutors, the group — who had been traveling in four separate vehicles — spotted Guzman-Feliz and chased him for four blocks until the teen ran into a bodega in the Belmont section of the Bronx, near the borough's Little Italy.
The five who pleaded guilty were allegedly seen on surveillance footage dragging him from the store, before the five other defendants in the case “repeatedly stabbed and slashed him with knives and a machete in the neck and body.”
The five other gang members were convicted by a jury of first-degree murder in 2019 and given sentences ranging from life in prison without parole to 23- and 25- years to life.
The killing occurred after prosecutors said high-ranking leaders of the gang, Diego Suero and Frederick Then, ordered members to carry out violence against a rival gang.
Suero and Then were found guilty of second-degree murder in July for orchestrating the violence. They were sentenced in September to 25 years to life.
After the 2019 jury verdict was announced, Guzman’s mother, Leandra Feliz, celebrated the victory.
“We got justice for Junior. We got justice for Junior. Thank God they get what they deserve,” she said at the time, according to WNBC.
Three New York City council members joined calls in 2018 to yank the business license of the bodega, where the owner and a customer allegedly ignored Guzman-Feliz's attempts to get help both before and after his fatal stabbing. A bodega is still operating in the spot, but under a new name and business license, according to city records reviewed by Oxygen.com. A mural now stands on the wall outside the bodega, and the block was named after him in 2019, according to the Fordham University radio station WFUV.
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