2 more women selected to jury on ‘Junior’ murder trial
Two more women have been selected for the jury in the trial against the men accused of stabbing Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz to death last summer.
That brings the total jurors so far to eight – seven women and one male.
The five accused members of the Trinitarios gang are charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of 15-year-old Guzman-Feliz.
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.
The prosecution and defense questioned a prospective jury pool of 11 people. One man told the court that he was concerned the gang would come after him if his identity was revealed. The judge assured the court that it does everything to protect jurors' identities and safety.
The assistant Bronx district attorney asked potential jurors if anyone would "shut down" a cooperating witness' testimony during trial if it was in exchange for a "deal." The judge stated the DA must back up a cooperating witness testimony with evidence in order for that witness to even testify.
Prosecutors also asked potential jurors if they would feel sympathy for one side or the other. The judge was adamant that the case is decided on the facts not emotion.
The judge pointed out because this is a criminal case the defendants are not obligated to testify and tell their side of the story during the trial.
Some of the defendants appeared in good spirits, seeming to chuckle and joke with one another other while lawyers were choosing the next jurors.
Court is back in session on Thursday to fill the additional seats, plus alternates.