The five Trinitarios gang members convicted in the brutal slaying of Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz were sentenced Friday to 25 years to life. Jonaiki Martines Estrella who delivered the death blow was sentenced to the rest of his life behind bars.
Judge Robert Neary handed down the sentences separately in Bronx Criminal Court and in a statement directed to the convicted killers, the judge didn’t hold back his disgust with the murder.
“Certain words come to mind when I think about your involvement,” Neary told Martinez Estrella. “Senseless is one of these words. Savage is another word. But the one that often comes to my mind is cowardly.”
“You and your fellow gang members chased down and slaughtered a 15-year-old, defenseless boy in the most gruesome manner and we in this courtroom had the misfortune of witnessing it on tape,” the judge said.
“You destroyed a young life, condemned his family and yours to a lifetime of pain and despair.”
The Spanish-speaking Martinez Estrella said through a translator, “First of all, I want to say sorry to his family and ask forgiveness,” prompting someone in the courtroom to shout, “Bulls—t!”
“My intention was not to cause the death of this kid or cause injuries that would end up in the loss of his life,” said Martinez Estrella, who claimed he was “under the influence of alcohol and drugs.”
“Regrettably, I’m responsible for the death of the young child, Junior,” he said.
Following his statement, the cowards flashed their gang signs in a state of no remorse.
Co-defendants Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago, 25, Jose Muniz, 23, and Elvin Garcia, 25, were each hit with a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago’s mother got up and screamed in the courtroom after the judge handed down her son’s lengthy term.
“He is my son!” the mother shouted. “He did not kill Junior! He did not kill Junior!”
And 19-year-old Manuel Rivera was sentenced to 23 years to life behind bars.
Junior’s mom Leandra Feliz addressed the media following the sentencing and expressed her permanent grief. “Here I am, a mother without my son … an innocent 15-year-old boy who was not a gang member who roamed the streets with bad intentions, these criminals ripped him away from me, leaving all his family and school friends.”
“They killed an innocent child. Then all these men, not a single one said, ‘No, no, no, don’t do it,’” Feliz continued, adding that on that tragic night, “there were two deaths: Junior and I, who was left dead inside.”
“This group of evil criminals using their gang-related activities decided to go out and kill,” she said. “These actions were all captured on camera, leaving millions of people devastated. In the same way the videos of their violence went viral, the punishment should be equal so that the New York City can be safer for everyone.”