NEW YORK - The quest to get "Justice for Junior" finally came to a close on Friday, as five men convicted of helping brutally murder 15-year-old Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz outside a Bronx bodega in 2018 were sentenced to prison.
Police say the killing, which shocked the city and the nation, was all a case of mistaken identity.
The five alleged members of the Los Sures Trinitarios gang — Danilo Payamps Pacheco, 26, Ronald Urena, 33, Jose Tavarez, 26, Danel Fernandez, 26, and Gabriel Ramirez Concepcion, 30 — were all sentenced to 12 to 18 years behind bars, joining eight other men convicted in relation to the killing, seven of which are serving life sentences.
"All of these men took part in one of the most disturbing murders, this city and nation has ever seen," said Darcel Clark, the Bronx District Attorney.
Authorities say that in June 2018, the gang members were trying to kill a rival in the Bronx. Thinking 15-year-old Junior was their target, they chased the teenager for blocks into a bodega, where they dragged him out onto the sidewalk.
Under the lenses of surveillance cameras, police say the suspects used large knives and a machete to stabbed and slash at Junior, leaving him to crawl to St. Barnabus Hospital, where he collapsed and died.
Video of the horrific attack circulated in the city and nationwide, as millions of shocked people demanded #JusticeForJunior.
"I don’t want to see another mother never to lose her son in the way I lose my son Junior," said Leandra Feliz, mother of Junior. "I don’t wanna see nobody go through that."
Judge Ralph Fabrizio spoke directly to Leandra after sentencing the last gang member, telling her that after five years of waiting for justice, this is the last page, of the final chapter, of a very long case.
"I wish to have my son back," Felix said. "And I want to thank you. I want to say thank you God. But I’m still waiting for the divine justice. The divine justice will come for them too."
Many of the members are not US citizens and will be immediately and permanently deported once their sentences are finished.