Teen Found Guilty in Long Island Hate Crime

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NEW YORK -- The young man accused of killing Ecuadorean immigrant Marcelo Lucero in a racially motivated attack in Patchogue, Long Island was found guilty Monday of first-degree manslaughter as a hate crime, reports El Diario/La Prensa. Jeffrey Conroy, 18, was acquitted of the more serious charge of second-degree murder as a hate crime. Although seven teens allegedly participated in the attack, prosecutors argued that Conroy struck the fatal blow. Four teenagers pleaded guilty to related hate crime charges. Two others are still awaiting trial. Conroy will be sentenced on May 26, and is expected to face eight to 25 years in prison.

Lucero, 37, was walking with a friend near the Patchogue train station at about midnight in November 2008, when he was assaulted by the group of teenagers. Prosecutors say the young men had gone in search of Latino victims. The attack led to a federal investigation into the Suffolk County Police Department’s handling of reports of racially motivated attacks against Latinos.