Yesterday, four New York teens were sentenced for their participation in the racially motivated stabbing death of Ecuadorean immigrant Marcelo Lucero in the parking lot of a Long Island train station in 2008.
The Patchogue Patch reports that Anthony Hartford, Jordan Dasch and Jose Pacheco, all 19 years old, will serve seven-year prison sentences. They were convicted of gang assault in the first degree, attempted assault in the second degree with a hate crime charge, and conspiracy in the fourth degree. A fourth teen who met the teens just that night received a six-year sentence.
In May, 19-year-old Jeffrey Conroy was sentenced to 25 years in prison for stabbing Lucero. Conroy was convicted of first degree manslaughter as a hate crime. Lucero’s death was just the last in a string of bias incidents that Conroy and his friends committed. The teens admitted to taking part in the perverse sport of "beaner-hopping," where they would prowl the streets looking for Latino immigrants to attack.
Both Conroy and Pacheco were also indicted for an attack on another man named Carlos Orellana on July 14, 2008. After Lucero’s death, the New York Times reported that many Latinos in Long Island came forward with reports of similar racially motivated attacks. The Times’ reporting led in part to new convictions. Conroy was also convicted of beating up another man named Octavio Cordova just days before he stabbed Lucero.
During the seven-week trial, his defense read dozens of letters from coaches and teachers who tried to attest to Conroy’s decency. The New York Times reported that during his trial his defense mentioned how many Latino friends Conroy has. Conroy’s girlfriend, who Conroy said he plans to marry, is Bolivian.
Two more suspects are set to be sentenced in September and October.
Lucero’s mother Maria Rosario Lucero, spoke to reporters after Conroy was convicted in May. She said that she had forgiven her son’s killer: "He will live prisoner in his conscience for what he did. May God forgive him for the acts he committed."