A suspect in the murder of a 15-year-old boy that rocked the Bronx section of New York City last year was pictured in court clutching a book about the real-life murders of two Texas prosecutors.
Kevin Alvarez, 19, appeared in a Bronx courtroom on Monday flashing the true-crime book 'In Plain Sight: The Kaufman County Prosecutor Murders,' which tells the story of a disgraced lawyer murdering two prosecutors who convicted him of theft.
Alvarez is charged in the slaying of Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz in June 2018, in what police believe was a case of mistaken identity. The crime was caught on tape, as a man believed to be Alvarez can be seen dragging the teenage Junior out of a bodega and onto East183rd Street, where another man stabs him repeatedly with a machete.
Alvarez is one of 14 suspects in Junior's murder who are also alleged members of the Trinitarios gang. Alvarez appeared in court on the same day as nine other suspects who are charged with murder, manslaughter, and more.
The prosecution chose not to comment on Alvarez's decision to bring the book to court with him, and whether they believed it was meant to be a threat, according to the New York Daily News. All attorneys associated with the case are under a gag order prohibiting them from communicating with the media, in order to ensure an uninfluenced jury.
Police believe that the gang members killed Junior because they thought he was a member of a rival gang. After he was stabbed, he stumbled to the nearby St. Barnabas Hospital, where succumbed to his injuries.
The Bronx is an area often plagued by violence. Junior's murder led to days of mourning at the scene of his death. The hashtag #JusticeforJunior went viral, promoting a nationwide awareness of the case and advocacy to keep the streets safer for children in New York.
Junior was reportedly a member of the NYPD Explorers Program, an outreach group for children interested in pursuing careers in law enforcement.
His mother, Leandra Guzman-Feliz, was present in court on Monday, where she was accompanied by a NYPD escort and 10 friends and family members.
“I want justice for Junior,” Guzman-Feliz said later outside the courtroom. “I hope they give them 300 years.”