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Junior’s mom overcome as ‘freeze frames’ of murder suspects are shown in court

Posted: 3:16 PM, May 14, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-14 15:16:33-04

THE BRONX — The mother of slain 15-year-old Lesandro “Junior” Guzman Feliz doubled over in her seat Tuesday when a Bronx homicide detective introduced “freeze frames” taken from surveillance footage of her son’s murder as a way to identify the accused killers.

The freeze frames were being used by Detective Francis Orlando to establish who was on the bodega sidewalk last June 20, shortly after 11:35 p.m., when Junior was set upon by a mob with knives and a machete.

The first defendant talked about was 22-year-old Jose Muniz, who was “wearing a white tank top,” according to Orlando.

“It appears the male is carrying a long knife or a machete,” the investigator said.

Junior’s mother gasped and had to contain her emotions when one freeze frame showed her son desperately trying to hold on to the front door of the Cruz & Chiky  bodega, so that he wouldn’t be pulled out to his deadly fate on the sidewalk.

She got more upset when another freeze frame showed the man in the white tank top raising his arm up with an apparent weapon, as he was about to attack the teen.

Early in Detective Orlando’s testimony, he said that Junior’s black Nike sandals were found by cops in the middle of the road at E. 184th Street and Hoffman Avenue, so there was an assumption the chase of Junior might have started right there.

Prosecutors have said, though, that the Trinitarios gang pursuit of Junior started earlier near Adams Place in the Belmont section of the Bronx.

The second suspect talked about on the surveillance was the defendant later identified as Jonaiki Martinez Estrella. Investigators said he wore a red shirt and red Chicago Bulls hat before the stabbing, but pulled off the shirt before the attack started.

The detective then introduced surveillance stills that allege to show a brown haired Manuel Rivera at the scene.

Then, the detective showed different surveillance from a night later when Rivera allegedly went to a beauty salon to dye his hair “yellow.”

Rivera’s hair was bright yellow when he was picked up with several suspects in Paterson, New Jersey on Sunday, June 24.

Elvin Garcia was the fourth suspect who had photos entered into evidence. Prosecutors said he wore a white shirt and shorts during the stabbing, with a dark cover over his face.

The detective entered more photos of Garcia taken by the Crime Scene Unit that showed him with stitches on his left hand, which was treated after the Junior murder at a Manhattan hospital.

Garcia told cops he had gotten into a fight about his girlfriend.

PIX11 spoke to Junior’s father Lisandro Guzman during the lunch break, who said—in Spanish—that it was difficult to watch the freeze frames of his son’s murder.

Testimony was expected to resume Tuesday afternoon with information about a fifth suspect who was wearing a dark hoodie.