US

Gang Members Hunted Down and Hacked 15-Year-Old Boy to Death Because They Thought He Was Part of a Rival Group

By Zachary Stieber

A gang member who pleaded guilty to taking part in a brutal murder and testified about what happened told the court that he and other members of the Trinitarios gang caught a 15-year-old boy they mistakenly thought was part of a rival gang.

Kevin Alvarez, 20, watched as a prosecutor played surveillance footage of him and other gang members brutally killing Lesandro Guzman Feliz on June 20, 2018, in the Bronx borough of New York City.

Feliz had been running for blocks from the group before they finally caught up to him.

Alvarez told the court that he and his companions started beating Feliz inside of a bodega before dragging him outside.

“He grabbed like this rack on the floor holding chips and he grabbed onto the door and the fridge. I see Canelito with a machete,” Alvarez said, according to video footage posted by Pix 11. Canelito was his nickname for Jose Muniz, another defendant.

“I looked up and I saw Welfinito with his hoodie on, running toward the kid,” Alvarez said, referring to Antonio Santiago, another defendant. “I saw him standing over the kid, stabbing him.”

At one point, as Alvarez watched the footage, he broke down in tears.

Alvarez also said that the gang members initially thought the victim was the person they were looking for because he was walking in the wrong area and based on his response to a question they asked him, reported The New York Times.

The Bronx Trinitarios members were on the hunt for members of the Brooklyn Trinitarios to get revenge because a member of the latter had shot a member of the Bronx set. Bronx leader Diego Suero had instructed members to always carry a weapon and if they saw a member of the Brooklyn group, to “do whatever possible to hurt the Sunset member,” Alvarez testified.

Alvarez on Tuesday revealed that his plea deal lets him off with time served if he testifies truthfully in the case and in potential future trials. The revelation in the courtroom prompted audible gasps, reported Pix 11.

“It’s a sweetheart deal,” attorney Christopher Carrión told the broadcaster outside. “He has a big incentive to tell the truth because he has a Manslaughter conviction of 25 years hanging over him if he lies or doesn’t cooperate.”

“Even when he’s freed, he will be looking over his shoulder for the rest of his life,” Carrión added.

Leaving the courthouse after listening to Alvarez on Monday, the victim’s mother, Leandra Feliz, slammed the defendants.

“They killed my son,” she said. “My son was innocent … They just abused him … They know he was innocent,” she said, reported the NY Daily News.

“He said he wasn’t a gang member, they knew. [Alvarez] knows he was not a gang member. They knew that, and anyway they killed him. Just for fun.”