THE BRONX — A suspected gang member accused in the brutal slaying of a Bronx teen outside a bodega last year showed up to court Monday carrying a true crime book chronicling the murder of a prosecutor.
Kevin Alvarez, 19, is one of the 14 suspected Trinitarios gang members accused of dragging 15-year-old Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz from a Bronx bodega at E. 183rd St. and Bathgate Avenue and stabbing him to death on June 20, 2018.
The teen was chased for blocks by his attackers, then ran into the bodega and tried to hide, but the suspects dragged him from the store. Junior suffered a lethal slash to his throat. He tried to make it to a nearby hospital, but collapsed on the sidewalk and died.
Alvarez was one of nine defendants who appeared in Bronx Supreme Court Monday. He carried with him the book entitled, “In Plain Sight: The Kaufman County Prosecutor Murders,” a true crime book about the broad-daylight murder of a Texas District Attorney.
According to the New York Daily News, prosecutors in the Bronx DA’s office had no comment on whether they thought Alveraz was trying to send a message or a threat. Alveraz made no attempt to hide the book.
All attorneys on the case, including Alveraz’, is under a gag order issued by Judge Robert Neary to not speak to the media.
Junior’s mother, Leandra Feliz, was present in court Monday, escorted by two police officers and two members of the Guardian Angels.
“I want justice for Junior,” Feliz said outside the courtroom. “I hope they give them 300 years.”
The teen’s death spurred a number of changes in the Bronx. Millions of dollars were allocated to fight gang violence, and bodega owners have done work to make the stores safer.
The street where he was murdered will be renamed in his honor on Wednesday.
“Junior impacted thousands of lives and this is a small way to memorialize his life and legacy,” Councilman Ritchie Torres said.
Torres will be joined Wednesday by the Guzman-Feliz family and members of the NYPD Explorers Program. Junior was an explorer and dreamed of being a police officer.
The street will be renamed Wednesday at 10 a.m.