Jury fills out in ‘Junior’ murder trial; open statements pushed back

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THE BRONX -

The court now has 12 jurors and one alternative for the murder trial against five men accused in the killing of Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz last summer in Belmont.

The 11th and 12th jurors were selected Friday. The first alternate juror was picked. All but one juror are women.

Judge Robert Neary says the court needs to choose at least five more alternate jurors, and pushed back opening statements until next Thursday. Selection will resume Monday morning.

Prosecutors say Junior, 15, died after being slashed in the neck last June by members of the Trinitarios gang outside a bodega.

Several potential jurors were excused during the day, one of whom was recognized by one of the defendants.

During juror questioning, defense lawyer Toni Messina, who represents Manuel Rivera, explained that even if the people prove a defendant was at the scene, they must prove intent to kill in order for the defendant to be convicted of murder.

One of the defendants, Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago, had his arm in a sling during court. His lawyer said he broke his hand during an incident with correction officers.

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