Multiple suspects in the fatal stabbing of a 15-year-old in the Bronx last week were arraigned Wednesday.
Six of the suspects are between the ages of 18 and 24 and were arrested earlier this week in Paterson, New Jersey.
Jose Muniz, Jose Tavarez, Jonaiki Martinez-Estrella, Daniel Fernandez, Manuel Rivera, and Antonio Hernandez-Santiago face a slew of charges, including murder, gang assault, and manslaughter. Five of them are from the Bronx. They were all extradited to the city Tuesday.
The other two suspects, 19-year-old Kevin Alvarez and 23-year-old Elvin Garcia, have both pleaded not guilty on murder and manslaughter charges.
As the suspects faced a judge Wednesday, prosecutors tied each one of them to surveillance video that captured the deadly attack, starting with Garcia:
"Mr. Garcia is alleged to be the individual wearing a mask," a prosecutor said. "He appears to be holding a knife and repeatedly making stabbing motions."
Police say Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz was dragged out of a bodega in the Belmont section of the Bronx by suspected gang members and slashed in the neck with a machete last Wednesday. The 15-year-old was pronounced dead at a local hospital. It is believed to be a case of mistaken identity.
The footage of the attack is at the center of the race, with prosecutors putting names to the faces in the video.
A prosecutor said Fernandez wore a green durag in the video and was observed dragging the 15-year-old out of the bodega before the others he was with attacked him with machetes and knives.
Prosecutors said Rivera repeatedly stabbed Guzman-Feliz. Investigators said Martinez-Estrella delivered the deadly blow, with prosecutors saying he made a swiping motion with his hand in the direction of the boy's throat in the video.
During arraignments for seven of the eight suspects charged, Fernandez was the only to one speak directly to the judge.
Tavarez asked for an interpreter, as did Muniz and Hernandez-Santiago. Their attorney, Edward Sappone, said they deserve their day in court.
"I'd ask the public to reserve judgment," Sappone said. "There's a large investigation underway and while there's a lot known, there's also a lot that's not known and yet to come."
Garcia's attorney went further, saying his client suffered a stab wound to the hand before the attack and is being unfairly lumped in in with the other suspects.
"He's not feeling too good about that, and his family has been receiving threats," the attorney said. "All of these things are terrible, terrible stressers on his state of mind."
His defense attorney has also said Garcia's injury was exacerbated by police during his arrest.
Recognizing the outage and the high emotions surrounding the case, there were at least 30 court officers present during the proceedings to make sure there were no outbursts.
The suspects have all pleaded not guilty and have been remanded. They are due back in court next week.
Guzman-Feliz was part the of the NYPD's Explorers Program, a group for youths interested in a law enforcement career, and dreamed of becoming a police officer one day.
A memorial of candles, photos, and stuffed animals for him sits outside the bodega.
The killing of Guzman-Feliz has sparked outrage nationwide on social media, with the hashtag #JusticeForJunior being picked up around the country.
Some athletes and celebrities, including Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia, rapper Cardi B, and singer Rihanna, have also called for justice and have expressed their condolences.