Almost a year after the brutal slaying of 15-year-old Lesandro "Junior" Guzman Feliz outside a Bronx bodega, a jury on Friday returned a decisive verdict that was prayers answered for those seeking justice for Junior.
The five Trinitarios gang members were all convicted on charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, second-degree gang assault and second-degree conspiracy.
It only took two days for a jury of 11 women and one man to decide the fates of Jonaiki Martinez Estrella, Manuel Rivera, Elvin Garcia, Jose Muniz and Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago.
"I'm not going to have my son back but those killers, those murderers are not going to be outside killing other kids," Junior's mother, Leandra Feliz, said after the verdict was announced. "We have to stop the violence and we have to save the city."
Deliberations began Thursday after nearly six weeks of testimony and long delays. Sentencing for all five men will take place on July 16. They face 25 years to life in prison without parole.
After learning their fate on Friday, two of the defendants, Jose Muniz and Manuel Rivera, turned and smirked at the spectators in the courtroom as they were being led out by officers.
Muniz, who is seen on video slamming a machete down on Junior during the attack, showed no remorse Friday when he shouted, “Popote, hasta la muerte!” slang for "Trinitarios until death.”