CONCOURSE, The Bronx — Assistant District Attorney Morgan Dolan announced in court Monday that the District Attorney’s Office is willing to offer pleas to lesser charges to the eight remaining defendants in the Junior murder case.
Alleged Trinitarios gang members Frederick Then, Ronald Urena, Jose Tavarez, Danel Fernandez, Gabriel Ramirez Concepcion, Diego Suero, Danilo Payamps Pacheco and Luis Caberasantos, are all charged with second-degree murder for being part of the chase that led to the death of 15-year-old Lesandro “Junior” Guzman Feliz last June.
Dolan is willing to offer first-degree manslaughter, which still carries significant prison time — up to 25 years.
Lawyers of the eight defendants have faced the judge Monday morning. Seven of their clients waived their right to appear.
Ronald Urena was the only one who opted to appear in court. As he was being led from court, he smiled at his young daughter in the back row and said, “Hi Joselyn, I love you,” which made her smile.
One lawyer said his client, Danilo Payamps Pacheco, had minimal involvement in the chase and is requesting a better deal.
Pre-trial hearings are expected to start September 23.
On Friday, five men were all found guilty of murder in Junior’s death. Jonaiki Martinez Estrella, Manuel Rivera, Elvin Garcia, Jose Muniz and Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago, were all convicted on charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, second-degree gang assault and second-degree conspiracy.
Two other men, Kevin Alvarez and Michael “Sosa” Reyes, were arrested in the case took plea deals and testified in the first trial.
The one-year anniversary of the slaying of Lesandro “Junior” Guzman Feliz at a Bronx bodega is just days away. A Mass and March will mark the occasion Thursday.
Here’s what we know about the men in the second case:
- Testimony in the first trial identified Then as “Colita”—the alleged #2 leader of the Los Sures set in the Trinitarios gang. Cooperating witness Kevin Alvarez said Then told him to go in the bodega last June 20 “and get the guy out.” Bronx Assistant District Attorney Morgan Dolan previously said: “The defendant was known to have allegedly pursued Junior throughout the streets of the Bronx. There is video surveillance capturing his pursuit on foot that ultimately led to Junior going into a bodega, where he was pulled out and killed by members of the Trinitarios gang.”
- Fernandez was identified on the infamous surveillance footage as the suspect wearing a green do-rag. He allegedly took part in the foot pursuit of Junior. Alvarez testified Fernandez helped him aggressively drag Junior across the bodega floor and out the front door to a waiting mob on the sidewalk.
- Urena was allegedly among the group of men who spotted 15-year-old Guzman Feliz on June 20th and chased the teen for blocks. Investigators don’t believe Urena was present when Guzman Feliz was fatally attacked.
- Tavarez has a 157 tattoo on his neck, which denotes someone in good standing with the Trinitarios gang. He was allegedly seen on surveillance peering over the counter after Junior ran into the bodega, leaving to tell others the terrified teen was hiding inside.
Gabriel Ramirez Concepcion:
- Ramirez Concepcion allegedly owned a black Acura involved in the Junior chase.
- Suero is the accused leader of the Trinitarios’ “Sures” set. He allegedly summoned other gang members to his apartment building on Boston Road before the Junior attack, telling those assembled they needed to retaliate against a rival faction known as “Sunset” for shooting another Trinitario in the eye. A cellphone photo was shown with more than a dozen alleged members of Sunset featured in the picture.
Danilo Payamps Pacheco:
- This suspect, known as “man bun,” was allegedly seen exiting the white 2011 Acura driven by cooperating witness Michael “Sosa” Reyes. Pacheco surrendered to police accompanied by a lawyer. Attorney Donald Vogelman said at the time Payamps Pacheco “was merely present at the crime other people committed.”
Luis A. Cabrarasantos:
- Cabrarasantos was famously arrested on Interstate 84 in Southbury, Conn. weeks after the murder. His gray Honda was seized by state troopers in a dramatic car stop captured on camera. The suspect yelled his baby was still in the car. Cabrarasantos’ girlfriend was thrown to the grass. The suspect allegedly drove this Honda in a four-vehicle pursuit of Guzman-Feliz. Cabrarasantos also allegedly took part in the getaway of the suspects who used knives and a machete to kill 15-year-old Junior.