New York, NY – One of five convicted murderers of 15-year-old Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz attacked a correction officer in jail last Tuesday night.
Union officials from the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association told the New York Daily News that 22-year-old Jose Muniz jumped a correction officer and dislocated his shoulder.
Muniz is being held at the Manhattan Detention Complex with his accomplices while they wait to be sentenced in the murder of the teen who was a member of the New York Police Department’s police explorers program.
A Bronx jury found all five of the accused Trinitarios gang members guilty of murder, gang assault, and conspiracy in the June 20, 2018 murder of Guzman-Feliz, the New York Daily News reported.
Muniz failed to show any remorse when the jury rendered its verdict, WPIX reported.
Instead, the acknowledged gang member smirked at the judge and yelled out “Popote, hasta la muerte!” which is Dominican slang for “Trinitarios until death.”
He was found guilty of using a machete on Guzman-Feliz despite his attorney’s best efforts to make the jury believe that Muniz had beaten the 15-year-old victim with the blunt side of the machete instead of hacking him with the blade, WPIX reported.
The violent attack occurred at approximately 11:40 p.m. on June 20, after Guzman-Feliz told his mother that he was heading downstairs to give a friend $5 that he owed him, WABC reported.
While he was outside, the attackers began chasing Guzman-Feliz. The teen took off running into a bodega on East 183rd Street, the New York Post reported.
“He tried to run into the store because he thought he’d be safe,” the victim’s sister, 17-year-old Genesis Collado-Feliz, told the paper. “They dragged him from the store like a dog. They were grown men and he was only 15.”
Surveillance footage from outside the store showed the teen being dragged from the store by his hood.
The five attackers then held him down, while one hacked at him with what appeared to be a machete, the video showed.
Another stabbed him repeatedly with a smaller blade.
The video showed the men then fled the scene in multiple directions, and left the teen stumbling and bleeding to death on the street corner.
Guzman-Feliz ran towards St. Barnabas Hospital, and collapsed just outside, the New York Post reported.
Video footage showed the blood-soaked teen as he sat on the ground.
He begged for water as he died, investigators said.
Guzman-Feliz’ murder may have been a case of mistaken identity, two high-ranking NYPD sources told the New York Post.
Investigators believe that members of the Trinitarios may have attacked the teen as retaliation for a raunchy porn video, which showed a naked woman who was possibly related to one of the gang members.
In the video, which was posted on social media, one male rapped as another – who bore a striking resemblance to Guzman-Feliz – had sex with a girl whose face was covered with a shirt, the New York Daily News reported.
According to Guzman-Feliz’s family, several members of the Trinitarios sent messages to the teen’s family via social media after the horrific murder and apologized for the accidental killing.
“They said, ‘We had the wrong person,’” Guzman-Feliz’s brother-in-law, Derek Grullon, told the paper.
Grullon said that a “top leader” of the gang apologized for what had transpired, the New York Post reported.
“He said they kicked all of them out of the gang,” Grullon recounted.
Guzman-Feliz dreamed of becoming a police detective, his mother, Leandra Feliz, told the New York Post shortly after her son was murdered.
“Since he was 5 years old, he told me, ‘Mommy, I want to be a police,’” Feliz, a native of the Dominican Republic, recalled. “He was just waiting to graduate and study criminal justice. And be a police.”
The teen even joined NYPD’s Law Enforcement Explorer program, which was established to teach and mentor youth between the ages of 14 and 20 who are interested in becoming law enforcement officers.