‘So frustrating’: Junior’s mother speaks about emotional day in court after new video shows teen’s last moments

CONCOURSE, The Bronx -- Emotions ran high on the second day of trial for the murder of Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz -- inside and outside of court.

For the first time, new video showed the last moments of Junior's life, as well as the attack, with knives and a machete, that admitted gang members carried out, which killed the 15-year-old police explorer.

Specifically, the prosecution team showed four different videos, one of which PIX11 News has shown in the past. It was recorded by cell phone by a resident who lives above the Cruz & Chiky bodega in the Belmont section of the Bronx, where Junior was fatally attacked the night of June 20, 2018.

The video shows a group of men -- all admitted members of the Trinitarios gang -- kicking, beating, and then fatally stabbing the teen who they mistook for a member of a rival Trinitarios gang faction.

The same attack was captured in remarkably clear and in-color detail on two NYPD surveillance videos shown in the courtroom. It was the first time the videos had been seen in any public setting, and their effect was emotionally powerful.

"I'm a mom of a nine-year-old," Elizabeth De Jesus, a supporter of Junior's family, said as she wiped tears from her eyes outside of court during the lunch break. "It's too much.. too much right now."

Also during the lunch break, Junior's mother, Leandra Feliz, left the courtroom, clearly affected by what she'd seen.

"It was so frustrating," Feliz said in an interview at the end of the court day. "I still feel some kind of out of mind."

Jennifer Weisel, a friend of Feliz, sat next to Junior's mother as the killing played out in front of their eyes.

"She looked absolutely devastated," Weisel told PIX11 News. "Like she was going to pass out. They had to basically almost carry her out of the courtroom."

Victims' advocates comforted Feliz as she left the courtroom for the midday break. One woman in the court gallery had to leave the courtroom as some of the videos played. She was hyperventilating and weeping.

All of the video was used by prosecutors to try and prove that five of at least 14 gang members present that fateful night had attacked Junior with an intention to kill him.

Elvin Garcia, Jonaiki Martinez Estrella, Jose Muniz, Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago, and Manuel Rivera all face first-degree murder and other felony charges.

Attorneys for four of the men made clear during opening statements on Monday that they intend to prove that only one of the five, Jonaiki Martinez Estrella, administered the fatal stab wound to Junior Guzman Feliz's jugular vein, and therefore should be the only person considered for first-degree murder.

Junior's family has made clear that they believe all five men are equally responsible for their son's murder. Junior's mother re-emphasized that point after court on Tuesday evening.

"I have everything in God's hands," she said. "We need to get justice for Junior."

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