Men Accused of Fatal Stabbing of Bronx Teen Appear in Court
Five of the eight men accused of killing a 15-year-old in the Bronx on June 20 had their day in court on Monday.
The men, who detectives believe were part of the Dominican street gang called the Trinitarios, declined to testify before a grand jury.
Two others, Elvin Garcia and Jose Taverez, waived their rights to appear in court. Another, Elvin Garcia, 23, was not in court because he was undergoing surgery, the New York Daily News reports. All pleaded not guilty.
The men, who range in age from 18 to 24, face charges of murder, manslaughter, and gang assault. Authorities believe Jonaiki Martinez-Estrella, 24, was the one who stabbed Guzman-Feliz, known to friends and family as Junior. Martinez-Estrella faces charges of first- and second-degree murder, manslaughter, gang assault and assault with intent to cause serious injury with a weapon.
A little after 11:30 p.m. on June 20, security camera footage captured Guzman-Feliz running into a bodega on East 183rd Street and Bathgate Avenue in the Belmont neighborhood of the Bronx.
He can be seen jumping over behind the counter, apparently to hide, shortly before several men enter the store searching for him. They find him and drag him out of the store where one of them can be seen stabbing him in the head area. He stumbled back into the store bleeding before heading in the direction of St. Barnabas Hospital. He succumbed to his wounds on the sidewalk outside the hospital.
Authorities said his death was a case of mistaken identity, and that the men had intended to kill a rival gang member.
The violent murder has enraged and galvanized the community to take back their streets from the gangs.
That outrage has reportedly spread behind bars. The accused killers have received death threats in jail and are being given special treatment, sources tell the New York Post.
The accused are due back in court on July 16.
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