Justice for Junior: Recapping week 4 of murder trial
The fourth week of the trial against the men accused in Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz's death saw plenty of fireworks.
One juror had put her hand over her mouth in apparent shock at one point. The bloodstained clothes Junior was killed in was seen for the first time since his death, and another gang member became a key witness.
The week started with Elvin Garcia's ex-girlfriend, Yudelvi Mena, taking the stand. She testified that Garcia, one of the men charged in Junior's death, admitted to her that he was one of the attackers in the bodega surveillance video that went viral.
Mena also told jurors that Garcia instructed her to lie to police about how his hand was injured, when it was allegedly cut by another gang member during the attack on Junior.
On Thursday, Junior's bloodstained clothes were shown to the jury. Prosecutors say Junior was killed in a sweatshirt, shorts and a white T-shirt turned completely reddish brown. The sight of the clothes caused Junior's father to leave in apparent disgust, telling reporters it was painful for him to look at.
Prosecutors also called Paterson police to testify on the arrests of four of the five defendants currently on trial, who were taken into custody at a New Jersey safe house last June, as well as Danel Fernandez and Jose Tavarez, who are part of the second group of defendants awaiting trial.
The week finished with the testimony of Michael "Sosa" Reyes, the second gang member after Kevin Alvarez to testify against the five men charged with first degree murder in Junior's death. Reye's face was captured on surveillance video inside the Belmont bodega Junior was dragged from last June. He left the store before the teen was dragged outside, where prosecutors sat Junior was killed with a machete and knives.
Reyes testified that he left the store because of the fear in Junior's eyes, telling jurors through a translator, "When I saw his face, my attitude changed."
The admitted member of the Trinitarios gang also testified Friday that after the stabbing, Jonaiki Martinez-Estrella rode in his getaway car saying, "He's not gonna eat for a good long time because I hit him in the neck."
Reyes testified that he fled to the Dominican Republic the day after he witnessed the stabbing out of fear, but returned the next day after speaking with his mother. He told the court it was for his own good to turn himself into police.
Prosecutor Morgan Dolan revealed Reyes plead guilty to manslaughter and agreed to truthfully testify against the gang for the chance all charges will be dropped. If he doesn't adhere to the terms, he could get 25 years in prison.