Monday, April 19, 2010

Jury convicts Long Island teenager in death of Ecuadorian immigrant

A Suffolk County jury convicted a Long Island teenager of first-degree manslaughter as a hate crime in the death of an Ecuadorian immigrant.

Prosecutors contend Jeffrey Conroy stabbed Marcelo Lucero to death near the Patchogue train station on Nov. 8, 2008, after he and six other teenagers attacked him. Authorities maintain the group targeted "Mexicans" and other Latino men in the area for nearly a year prior to Lucero's death.

The murder, which took place roughly a month before Keith Phoenix and Hakim Scott allegedly beat Ecuadorian immigrant José Sucuzhañay to death on a Bushwick, Brooklyn, street corner, shined a harsh spotlight on anti-immigrant violence in the county. The Southern Poverty Law Center documented these incidents in a report it issued last September. And it particularly singled out Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy's anti-immigrant rhetoric as a contributing factor.

“While we can continue to disagree about policies related to the economic and social impacts of illegal immigration, we can all agree that any violence against a fellow human being cannot and will not be tolerated," Levy told the New York Times in response to the SPLC report.

Conroy faces up to 25 years in prison.

No comments: