Gang members found guilty in mistaken-identity stabbing death of Bronx teen

Five gang members charged in the stabbing death of Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz outside a New York City convenience store last year were convicted Friday in the mistaken-identity killing.

Bronx jurors found Jonaiki Martinez Estrella, Manuel Rivera, Elvin Garcia, Jose Muniz and Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, conspiracy and gang assault, WPIX-TV reported. Estrella was the one who delivered the lethal blow, according to the news station.

“Hasta la muerte!” shouted Muniz, Spanish for "Til death," the New York Daily News reported.

The killing was captured on camera and stoked national outrage over its overt brutality.

"We hope that the verdict today brings some consolation to the family, who have endured so much pain," Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said.

Jurors began deliberations Thursday after a six-week trial filled with graphic evidence and courtroom outbursts from the mother of Guzman-Feliz, Leandra Feliz.

This undated photo provided by the New York City Police Department shows Lesandro Guzman-Feliz, 15, who was attacked at a bodega in the Bronx borough of New York on June 19, 2018, and died after being slashed in the neck with a machete. (NYPD via AP, File)

This undated photo provided by the New York City Police Department shows Lesandro Guzman-Feliz, 15, who was attacked at a bodega in the Bronx borough of New York on June 19, 2018, and died after being slashed in the neck with a machete. (NYPD via AP, File)

"I'm not going to have my son back -- but those killers are not going to be outside killing another kid," Leandra Guzman said after the verdict. "We have to stop the violence and have a safe city."

Another nine men were arrested in connection with the killing. They are scheduled to be tried in September.

Prosecutors contended that the men attacked Guzman-Feliz, 15, an aspiring police officer, outside a Bronx bodega on June 20, 2018, in a case of mistaken identity. Authorities said the suspects believed he was a rival gang member.

Security footage showed the teen's attackers chasing him into a store and dragging him outside. He was repeatedly stabbed with knives and machetes by members of the Trinitarios gang. Estrella used what appeared to be a bread knife to stab the teen's neck.

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A bloodied Guzman-Feliz tried running to St. Barnabas Hospital nearby but collapsed and died.

He was enrolled in the NYPD Explorers youth program, and his dream was to be a detective for the city, his family said after his death. A scholarship fund was created in his honor.

Sentencing was scheduled for July 16.