THE BRONX — In a quiet courtroom, the star “Junior” trial witness, Kevin Alvarez, started crying on the witness stand, as the prosecutor asked him to watch surveillance footage of what he did to 15-year-old Lesandro Guzman Feliz behind a bodega counter last June 20.
The panicked teen, who had just been chased by a pack of men for blocks, was trying to hide behind a small door that separated the back of the store from the public.
Finally, Alvarez said a deli worker opened the door and told Alvarez and his crew to “take it outside.”
“The kid was pushing the door, he was putting his behind — his shoulder — against it,” Alvarez testified of Junior.
“He’s saying, ‘Stop!’ He didn’t have nothing to do with what we were saying.”
Alvarez and his associates were telling bodega workers that Junior was connected to the Sunset division of the Trinitarios gang, which had shot another gang member two days before.
Police said Junior was a victim of mistaken identity.
Prosecutor Morgan Dolan then asked Alvarez what he did to Junior, when the teen’s efforts to keep the door closed were futile.
“I punched him in the face. A few times, face and body,” Alvarez told the jury.
“He falls back onto the floor and also the sink,” Alvarez continued, speaking of Junior. “I started to kick him in the body a few times.”
Alvarez said another suspect known as “Menor” was also kicking Junior.
“I started to drag him out of the store,” Alvarez said, noting that he was following orders from the #2 in the Sures set to “bring the kid outside.”
“He grabbed like this rack on the floor holding chips and he grabbed onto the door and the fridge. I see Canelito with a machete.”
Prosecutors told the jury earlier in the trial that Canelito is defendant Jose Muniz.
Muniz angrily left the courtroom before the afternoon session started, because he told Judge Robert Neary through an interpreter that he wasn’t getting access to hard copies of evidence seized from cell phones in the case.
Judge Neary said he didn’t want hard copies of certain evidence provided to jailed defendants because “History has proven these things find their way around the facility, posing a danger to civilians and government employees.”
After Alvarez testified about dragging Junior to the sidewalk, he vividly described what happened during the 20-second stabbing and assault of Junior.
He said he saw one defendant using “a regular kitchen knife” as he was running toward “the kid.”
Junior’s mother reacts to Alvarez’ testimony after court Monday:
He identified all five murder defendants as taking part in the sidewalk attack, including Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago, known as “Welfinito.”
Prosecutors said “Welfinito” was wearing a dark hoodie during the stabbing, and Alvarez confirmed it—even though defense attorney Amy Attias had noted the surveillance footage of her client was “blurry.”
“I looked up and I saw Welfinito with his hoodie on, running towards the kid,” Alvarez said. “I saw him standing over the kid, stabbing him.”
Alvarez said Junior “kept fighting back.”
Mary Murphy recaps Monday’s “Junior Trial” testimony on the Mary Murphy Files: