Junior's mother pushes back against gang allegations

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THE BRONX -

The mother of Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz appeared in court for the first time on the fourth day of jury selection at the Bronx Supreme Court Monday, saying she is anxious to see convictions and pushing back against allegations her son was a gang member.

The court selected two more jurors Monday, bringing the jury up to six members in the trial of five defendants charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of 15-year-old Guzman-Feliz. Five of the six jurors thus far are women.

Leandra Feliz, Lesandro's mother, called for life in prison without parole for all five defendants. She also responded to the defense asking for the jury to be open to testimony that Junior was affiliated with the Sunset crew of the Trinitarios. She says her son was quiet and never got into any fights.

"They have to show proof, there is no proof," says Feliz. "My son was not a gang member. Everybody saw what these men did to my son."

FULL COVERAGE: Justice for Junior

The judge presiding over the case has told prospective jurors to stay away from any information that is already available in the case in an effort to be a fair jury during the case.

One perspective juror says video evidence of Junior's death would be too disturbing for them to watch during the trial. Another said video evidence of the death would not be enough to convict the defendants because the faces seen in the video are too blurry.

Earlier in the selection process, a judge ruled against having a double jury or separate trial for Jonaiki Martinez-Estrella, who is accused of giving Junior a fatal neck wound.

Opening statements are slated for April 29. Six seats still need to be filled on the jury before then, not including alternates.

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