THE BRONX — He knew they had killed the wrong guy.
Just after the stabbing death of Lesandro “Junior” Guzman Feliz last June 20, members of the Trinitarios were examining a photo of gang members to make sure they had killed the right target.
Kevin Alvarez, who has since become the star witness in the trial, looked at the photo and came to a dreadful conclusion: “When I looked at the picture,” he testified Tuesday, “I didn’t see the kid we had chased and stabbed.”
The gang members were meeting that night on Boston Road in the Bronx to make sure they had gotten the right person, Alvarez said.
The photo in question was of the Sunset crew that was feuding with the Los Sures set, who orchestrated the bodega attack.
The photo allegedly came from the cell phone of the No. 2 leader of the Sures set, Frederick “Colita” Then.
Alvarez testified on Tuesday that the Los Sures boss, Diego Suero, who held the meeting at his apartment, was questioning who from that photo was the guy that they had just killed.
Alvarez said they were confused, pointing to two different people in the picture that was captioned, “Sunset gunset.”
“Diego was asking Colita and [Jose Muniz] Canelito, are we sure that that’s the right person, and the response was ‘Yes, it’s him,’” Alvarez recalled.
But Alvarez knew they’d made a terrible mistake. Indeed, Alvarez told the jury on Monday that Junior kept insisting he wasn’t affiliated with Sunset, as he fought desperately for his life.
The defense had already entered this photo into evidence last week, asking a Bronx homicide detective if Junior was raising his arm and throwing a gang sign with the Sunset crew.
Det. Francis Orlando said emphatically that Junior was not in the photo.
Alvarez testified he was so upset by what had happened outside the bodega that he left the apartment as the gang kept examining the photo.
“I guess I didn’t agree with what happened,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez said he gave a ride to other gang members who were present at the stabbing.
Later, lead prosecutor Morgan Dolan asked Alvarez to circle all the people from a Los Sures gang picture who were either present at Suero’s apartment before Junior’s chase, at the scene of the murder, and then later back at Suero’s apartment.
Including himself, he circled at least eight people in that picture.
Late Tuesday afternoon, the prosecution showed more photos to Alvarez, and Judge Robert Neary grew frustrated. He ended testimony early and, outside the courtroom, spectator Jennifer Wiesel reported a pregnant relative of a murder defendant yelled at Junior’s mother, calling her a foul word.
As a precautionary measure, NYPD detectives put the mom, Leandra Feliz, into an unmarked police car inside a courthouse garage and whisked her away.
Earlier in the day, Feliz was in court when Alvarez revealed the cooperation agreement he signed with prosecutors, which could allow him to leave prison someday with “time served.”
Feliz told PIX11 by phone that she wanted to hear more about the deal before making a comment.
Alvarez returns to court Thursday for cross-examination.