Belmont teen murder suspects face judge after extradition from NJ

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Six of the eight men suspected of taking part in the gang-related stabbing death of a Belmont teen arrived at the NYPD's 48th Precinct to face a judge around noon Wednesday after their extradition from New Jersey.

As News 12 has reported, police arrested six suspects in Paterson, New Jersey. Four of them are Bronx residents: Jose Tavarez, 21, Manuel Rivera, 18, Danel Fernandez, 21, and Antonio Hernandez Santiago, 24. Jose Muniz, 21, is from New Jersey, and Jonaiki Martinez-Estrella, 24, is from Freeport, on Long Island. They all are facing charges ranging from murder and manslaughter to gang assault, felony assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

Martinez is accused of delivering a fatal gash to the victim's throat.

The NYPD also arrested two other suspects in the city: 19-year-old Kevin Alvarez, and 23-year-old Elvin Garcia.

They are all accused of taking part in the brutal slaying of Lesandro Guzman-Feliz, a member of the NYPD Explorers youth program who went by the name Junior. They used machetes and knives to murder the 15-year-old outside a Belmont bodega last Wednesday.


Graphic surveillance video of the attack has circulated widely on social media and prompted massive public condemnation. The video ends with the blood-covered victim stumbling toward St. Barnabas Hospital -- which is a block away from the crime scene. Police say he died outside the door.

Sources say the men may have mistaken Junior for someone else before killing him, but police have not officially confirmed that information.

Police say a flurry of tips helped them arrest the eight suspects.

At least some of them have alleged ties to the violent Trinitarios street gang -- which may also be responsible for the unrelated stabbing of a 14-year-old boy on the Bronx River Parkway last week.

The six latest arraignments came on the same day as the victim's funeral.

Each man has pleaded not guilty -- and the judge ordered each held without bail.

"I'd ask the public to reserve judgement because although is a lot known, there's a lot unknown," said Edward Sapone, a defense attorney for one murder suspect.

It's unclear if police will make more arrests in the case, but the investigation is ongoing.

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