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Sentencing delayed for 5 convicted in ‘Junior’ murder, as defense asks judge to dismiss top count

Posted at 11:27 AM, Jul 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-12 17:28:01-04

Editor’s Note on Aug. 12: Sentencing will not take place on Aug. 13. It has been delayed again. Sentencing is now scheduled for Sept. 17.

BRONX — Sentencing has been delayed for the first five defendants convicted in the murder of Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz, PIX11 learned Thursday.

The men convicted of first-degree murder in Lesandro “Junior” Guzman Feliz’s death are seen. The teen was killed on June 20, 2018.

New York State online records show  the sentencing date for the five defendants has been moved to Aug. 13, from an initial date of July 16.

The clerk’s office at Bronx Supreme Court later confirmed the “Junior” case is “adjourned to Aug 13.”

The five defendants — Jonaiki Martinez Estrella, Elvin Garcia, Manuel Rivera, Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago and Jose Muniz — were convicted on June 14 of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, second-degree gang assault and second-degree conspiracy.

All five face life in prison without parole for chasing down and dragging Guzman-Feliz, known as Junior, from a Bronx bodega on June 20, 2018, and beating and stabbing him to death while he fought for his life.

PIX11 did some checking early Thursday morning.

We learned the five defense attorneys filed motions, asking Judge Robert Neary to dismiss the top first-degree murder conviction, arguing the evidence presented did not prove a murder by “torture,” an element that was part of the indictment, according to a source.

The Bronx District Attorney’s Office will now have to respond to these motions.

The remaining eight defendants in the case who await trial are accused of being part of the chase that ended with Junior’s murder.