After five alleged gang members were handed lengthy prison sentences for the brutal murder of a 15-year-old outside of a Bronx bodega, their alleged leaders are going to prison.
Diego Suero, 33, and Frederick Then, 24, were sentenced to 25 years to life Friday for the murder of Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz, the teen fatally stabbed in 2018 after he was mistaken for a rival gang member.
As previously reported the case garnered sympathy and outrage across the world when the video of Junior’s final moments went viral on social media. The hashtag #JusticeForJunior was used by millions to bring awareness to the horrific crime and to help the Guzman-Feliz families get justice for the slain child.
Suero and Then are accused of heading the Los Sures set of the Trinitarios gang that attacked “Junior” with knives and machetes back in 2018.
“Today, the leaders whose order meant death for a 15-year-old boy were sentenced to 25 years to life years in prison. Junior’s family has suffered immensely and will forever miss him. We hope today’s sentence brings some peace to them and the Bronx community,” ABC 7 reports Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said about the sentences.
The district attorney also sent a warning message to other gang members.
“Those who choose gang life need to know that this is where it ends: State prison for the rest of your life. It will never end. Even after every last defendant has been tried and convicted, we will still stand by this family.”
Junior’s mother Leandra Feliz who has worked tirelessly to bring awareness to her son’s case and had been advocating for a bill that “panic buttons” be installed in bodegas to help prevent what happened to her son from happening to others, was in attendance for the sentencing.
After Suero and Then’s fate was sealed, Junior’s mother told reporters that justice was finally served.
“He’s never going to come back from his grave, they’re never supposed to come back to the street, we got justice for Junior,” said Ms. Feliz per ABC 7. “My son was an innocent kid. He was only 15 years old, They got what they deserved.”
Ultimately 19 people were indicted in connection to Junior’s murder. Six more people will appear in court within the forthcoming weeks.