Defendant in 'Junior' trial sick; key witness testimony postponed

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THE BRONX -

Cross-examination of a key witness in the Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz trial has been postponed because one of the men charged with the teen's death has fallen ill.

Attorney Cesar Gonzalez Jr. says he made arrangements for his client, Michael "Sosa" Reyes, to surrender to police after his face was captured on camera at the scene of Junior's death last June. Sosa, who was allegedly pursuing Junior with his gang, was seen leaving the Belmont bodega before Junior was dragged out and killed.

Sosa provided what his lawyer says was critical help for police to make arrests early on in their investigation.

"No one, until my client came forth, was able to put the faces to the name on that particular video tape, including Mr. Alvarez," says Gonzalez.

Sosa testified on the conversation he had with employees of the store Junior was dragged from, telling the jury "I lied saying he had done something to my grandma," in an effort to help the gang get to the frightened teen.

But he also provided key testimony to bolster the DA's mistaken identity case, telling the court that at least one of the defendants was pointing at a picture of alleged rival gang members after stabbing Junior, thinking he had just helped kill one of them. Junior was not in the photo. Gonzalez says his client helped police last June without having a deal with the DA in place yet.

Sosa now has a deal that will allow for his charges to be dismissed if he fulfills truthful testimony. Gonzalez says his client also introduced police to many of the other defendants who were not caught on camera participating in the actual stabbing, but are accused of being involved.

Cross-examination of Sosa will not happen Tuesday because a defendant in the case is sick.

Despite the delay, prosecutors still plan on resting their case by the end of this week. Before that happens, the medical examiner will testify on Junior's autopsy report.

#JusticeForJunior

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