NEW YORK — A Bronx jury on Friday found two alleged gang members guilty of murder for ordering the 2018 attack that killed 15-year-old Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz.
Diego Suero, 33, and Frederick Then, 24, had been on trial since 2019 and convicted of second-degree murder, TBEN’s Ali Bauman reported.
Guzman-Feliz was chased into a Bronx bodega, then dragged out and stabbed to death by the Trinitarios gang in June 2018. The teen was mistaken for a rival to the gang when, in fact, he had no gang ties.
A total of 14 men were charged with the murder. The police believe that Suero and Then were the local leaders of the gang and ordered the lower members to carry out the murder.
The teen lived a stone’s throw from the crime scene and aspired to become a police officer. He was part of the NYPD Explorers program.
Junior’s mother says this verdict is a step towards justice.
“Thank you to all the jurors for finding them guilty and this is the jury protecting the community,” Leandra Feliz said Friday.
Every wall in her apartment has her son’s face.
“Because I feel like I see it everywhere I move, and that’s how I feel good, really, because I have it everywhere,” she said.
Guzman-Feliz’s death shocked the city and sparked protests demanding ‘Justice for Junior’.
“This is justice, justice,” Feliz said.
At least five others had already been convicted. Their sentences ranged from 23 years to life. Cases are pending against six other defendants.
“I want to thank everyone, all of you. I hope they will continue to help me with the next trials that are coming up because this is not done yet,” Feliz said.
Suero and Then face 25 years to life in prison. Their sentencing is expected in September.