CONCOURSE, the BRONX — Ronald Urena was the only one of eight “Junior” murder defendants to show up in court Monday, and he made a special effort to seek out his little daughter when he walked in.
Wearing beads around his neck and a bun atop his head, Urena flashed a big smile at the young girl sitting in the courtroom’s back row with several women.
When Urena turned to leave, he faced his daughter a second time and smiled again, “Hi Joselyne, I love you.”
The little girl beamed from the back row, as her daddy was led away in shackles.
His appearance came as prosecutor Morgan Dolan put the possibility of plea deals on the table.
“We are willing to consider potential pleas for manslaughter in the first degree.”
This means Dolan is willing to negotiate pleas to a lower charge with the eight remaining defendants in the second-degree murder case, ”with an eye toward trying to resolve these cases.”
A plea bargain would still assign blame for intent to cause serious physical injury that resulted in Lesandro “Junior” Guzman Feliz’s death.
The range of possible sentences could fall anywhere between 12 and 25 years.
Dolan told Judge Robert Neary: “Obviously, we’d have to work out the number.”
This is all very preliminary, three days after Dolan and her team won convictions of first degree murder against the five men who fatally stabbed 15-year-old Junior with knives and a machete.
Urena and the other “Murder 2” defendants who await trial are accused of being part of the chase that ended with Junior’s murder—or part of the planning conspiracy to hunt for rivals.
Neary said he’s looking to avoid multiple trials.
Urena, wearing high-security protective gloves on his hands, and shackled at the waist, made a brief appearance before Neary, who wants to start pre-trial hearings by Sept. 23.