Long Island Teen Found Guilty in Marcelo Lucero’s Hate Crime Murder

By Julianne Hing Apr 19, 2010

Jeffrey Conroy, the 19-year-old from Long Island charged with the 2008 murder of Ecuadorean immigrant Marcelo Lucero, was found guilty of manslaughter with a hate crime today. Six other teens were initially indicted, but Conroy was the only person who was charged with both murder and manslaughter in the stabbing death of Lucero that took place outside the Patchogue train station on the night of November 8, 2008. Conroy was 17 years old then. Conroy faced heavier charges of second-degree murder, but the jury was unconvinced that Conroy and his friends stabbed Lucero with the intent to kill. Conroy was found guilty of first-degree manslaughter and gang assault, and faces a minimum sentence of eight years in prison, and a maximum of 25. The six-week trial involved several twists; Conroy took to the stand and recanted his five-page written confession, calling another teen the real attacker that night. Lucero was stabbed once in the chest that night, when Conroy and his friends decided to hit the streets to go "beaner hopping," a sport of finding and beating up Latinos in the neighborhood. Indeed, past victims of Conroy’s testified on the stand to being the target of other racially motivated assaults. Long Island Wins reported that Conroy was also found guilty of fourt-degree conspiracy in the killing of Lucero, three counts of attempted assault in the second-degree as a hate crime for his attack on Lucero’s companions. Conroy was also convicted of the same for beating up Octavio Cordova in the days before Lucero’s death. Lucero’s mother, Maria Rosario Lucero, spoke to reporters after the verdict was announced. She said that she had forgiven her son’s killers. "He will live prisoner in his conscience for what he did," Lucero said. "May God forgive him for the acts he committed." Conroy will be sentenced on May 26. Meanwhile, jury selection continues in the murder trial of Jose Sucuzhanay, a Brooklyn man and Ecuadorean immigrant who was also killed in a hate crime attack in 2008, a month after Lucero’s death.