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'He Kept Fighting Back': Gang Member Cries As He Watches Video Of Himself Dragging Teen Machete Victim From Bodega
Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz was brutally hacked to death in a case of mistaken identity, one of his assailants testifies.
An admitted gang member who has pleaded guilty in connection with the brutal machete murder of a 15-year-old boy cried in court as he watched video of himself dragging the victim out of a Bronx bodega to his death.
Kevin Alvarez, 20, pleaded guilty in late April to manslaughter and conspiracy in connection with the death of Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz, WABC in New York reports. He now faces 25 years in prison. Five people people in total have been charged with murder in the first degree in connection with the horrific slaying. Alvarez is testifying against them and is now in protective custody.
In court on Tuesday, Alvarez admitted being in a gang and helping to kill Guzman-Feliz. He detailed what happened to the teen, who he said was targeted by the gang in a case of mistaken identity.
Surveillance video captured harrowing images of five men pulling Guzman-Feliz out of the Cruz and Chiky Grocery story in the Belmont section of the Bronx. Once they got the boy outside the store, they repeatedly hacked him with a machete and stabbed him with knives.
The boy, mortally wounded, got up and ran toward a nearby hospital, but collapsed on the way, bleeding out on the sidewalk.
But before he was dragged out of the bodega, he hid behind a door inside the store before one of the bodega workers kicked him out.
Alvarez said one of the workers revealed the teen’s hiding spot and told Guzman-Feliz and Alvarez’s group to “take it outside.”
“The kid was pushing the door, he was putting his behind — his shoulder — against it,” Alvarez testified. “He’s saying, ‘Stop!’ He didn’t have nothing to do with what we were saying.”
Alvarez testified that he punched Guzman-Feliz before trying to take him outside.
"I started to drag him out of the store,” Alvarez said, according to WPIX in New York City. “He grabbed like this rack on the floor holding chips and he grabbed onto the door and the fridge. I see Canelito with a machete.”
Canelito has been identified as Jose Muniz, one of the five charged with murder.
In addition to seeing the machete, Alvarez testified that he saw another suspect using “a regular kitchen knife” to stab the victim once they were outside.
“I looked up and I saw Welfinito with his hoodie on, running towards the kid,” Alvarez said. “I saw him standing over the kid, stabbing him."
“Welfinito” has been identified as another defendant accused of murder, Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago.
Alvarez said the teen “kept fighting back” as he was being stabbed.
He reportedly cried in court along with Guzman-Feliz’ mother as video surveillance of the boy being dragged out the bodega was played in slow motion for the jury to see.
Guzman-Feliz’s mother, Leandra, told the New York Daily News last year that her son wanted to be a police detective, and was a member of the Explorers, an NYPD-sponsored group for teenage boys and girls that provides mentoring and encouragement from police officers.
“He has never been in any fight, never, in 15 years,” his mother added.
“He was innocent. He never grew up on the streets. He was with me all the time.”