The 19-year-old accused of the hate crime-related death of an Ecuadorean immigrant on New York's Long Island was convicted of manslaughter today, NPR's Robert Smith reports.
Jurors acquitted Jeffrey Conroy of the more serious crime of murder in the November 2008 killing of Marcelo Lucero — a crime that focused national attention on bias crimes against Hispanics and, as NPR's Ari Shapiro reported last November, also raised questions about whether police on Long Island ignore hate crimes:
As Newsday writes, Conroy was found "guilty of first-degree manslaughter as a hate crime in the stabbing death" of Lucero, 37.
The Associated Press says that the victim:
Was walking with a friend when they were confronted by the teenagers. Prosecutors say the teens were walking around town looking for targets, began yelling ethnic slurs and approached the two men. One of the teens punched Lucero in the face. Within moments, Lucero and his friend were swinging their belts in self-defense and began to pursue the teens to a parking lot.
Prosecutors said that when Lucero hit Conroy in the head with the belt, the teen lost his temper, opened the folding knife and ran toward Lucero, lunging at Lucero's chest.