Justice for Junior: Parents of slain Bronx teen face suspects in court

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AJ Ross has more on the suspects' court appearances and the support for Junior.

Five months after their innocent son was brutally murdered outside of a Bronx bodega, Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz's parents faced 13 of the 14 people accused of killing him Thursday.

The suspects, all said to be members of the Trinitarios gang, were facing a judge on routine motions. But the courtroom wasn't large enough to hold all those who showed up for the hearing, with many wearing T-shirts and holding signs demanding justice.

Junior's mother, Leandra Feliz, briefly spoke to supporters during a break in the proceedings.

"Thank you so much for the support you are giving to me in this case," she said. "I just need justice for my son."

The group then formed lines and marched to the bodega where Junior was killed, where a memorial still stands as a reminder of the unthinkable crime.

"This is not the kind of stuff that's going to happen in our communities," one woman said. "We're all going to stand together to prevent this, and we're breaking down gangs. They're not allowed."

One defendant, Frederick Then, who was the most recent suspect to surrender, was not appearing since his attorney was not available. All 14 remain behind bars.

The suspects are identified as:
--Jose Tavarez
--Manuel Rivera
--Danel Fernandez
--Danilo Payamps Pacheco
--Diego Suero
--Gabriel Ramirez Concepcion
--Ronald Urena
--Frederick Then
--Jonaiki Martinez Estrella
--Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago
--Jose Muniz
--Elvin Garcia
--Luis Cabrera Santos

They are facing murder, manslaughter and other charges.

Junior died in June after he was chased and slashed in the neck with a machete in the Tremont section of the Bronx in what police believe was a case of mistaken identity. His murder sparked a public outcry, and the hashtag #JusticeForJunior went viral.

Authorities believe the suspects were targeting a rival gang member.

In court, prosecutors requested DNA from all the defendants. All but suspected ringleader Diego Suero agreed.

The suspects will be back in court on December 21.

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Related Topics:
murderteen killedjustice for juniorNew York CityBronxTremont
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