NEW YORK -- A Bronx jury found two alleged gang members guilty of murder on Friday for ordering the attack that killed 15-year-old Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz in 2018.
Diego Suero, 33, and Frederick Then, 24, had been on trial since 2019 and were convicted of second-degree murder, CBS2's Ali Bauman reported.
Guzman-Feliz was chased into a Bronx bodega, then dragged out and stabbed to death by the Trinitarios gang in June 2018. The teen was mistaken for a rival of the gang, when in fact he had no gang ties.
A total of 14 men were charged in the murder. Police believe Suero and Then were the local leaders of the gang and ordered lower-level members to carry out the murder.
The teen lived about a block from the murder scene and aspired to become a police officer. He was part of the NYPD Explorers program.
Junior's mother says this verdict is one step towards justice.
"Thank you to all the jury people because they found them guilty and this is the jury protecting the community," Leandra Feliz said Friday.
Every wall in her apartment has her son's face.
"Because I feel I see him everywhere I move, and that's how I feel OK, really, because I have him everywhere," she said.
Guzman-Feliz's death shocked the city and sparked protests demanding "Justice for Junior."
"This is justice, justice," Feliz said.
At least five others were already sentenced. Their sentences ranged from 23 years to life in prison. Cases are pending for six other defendants.
"I want to thank everybody, all of you. I hope they'll continue helping me with the next trials coming up because this is not done yet," Feliz said.
Suero and Then face 25 years to life in prison. Their sentencing is expected in September.
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