THE BRONX — Kevin Alvarez, among the first suspects captured on surveillance storming into a Bronx bodega last June 20 — and then dragging a terrified “Junior” Guzman-Feliz out to the sidewalk — has pleaded guilty in connection with the case.
PIX11 learned the guilty plea happened in a closed courtroom on Wednesday.
Alvarez was then released from jail into protective custody.
He is expected to testify in the upcoming trial against five defendants charged with murder in the first degree.
Alvarez was one of the first suspects hauled out of the 48th Precinct last June, charged with murder in the 2nd degree. He initially said he thought he was only taking part in a fight.
But Alvarez was accused of being part of the planning to look for rivals in the Trinitarios gang — and the chase that forced a panicked Junior to seek shelter in the Cruz & Chiky bodega on the corner of E. 183rd Street and Bathgate Avenue in the Bronx.
Lesandro Guzman-Feliz literally ran out of his sandals, before jumping over the counter at the bodega and startling the owner, Hector Cruz.
Alvarez was seen on surveillance demanding that Junior be handed over to a group of angry, young men, with one in the group falsely claiming that Junior had robbed his grandmother.
Alvarez was among the two men seen dragging Junior out to the sidewalk, where five men then started attacking the anguished teen with knives and a machete.
Junior stumbled back into the bodega with a horrific knife wound in his neck.
An annoyed customer holding bags of potato chips — along with some store employees — told the bleeding teen to walk a block to the emergency room at St. Barnabas Hospital. Junior managed to stumble up the block, before collapsing outside the hospital security booth.
Kevin Alvarez was one of nine defendants charged with murder in the second degree.
Another defendant, Diego Suero, is expected to testify in the Murder 1 trial.
Suero told police he was the head guy in the Sures set of the Trinitarios gang — and they believed Junior was a member of the Sunset crew.
Police said Junior was not a gang member and his mother said he had dreams of becoming an NYPD detective one day, even taking part in the department’s Explorers program.