NY teen guilty of hate crime in Ecuadorean's death

AP News
Posted: Dec 02, 2009 12:15 PM

One of six remaining defendants awaiting trial in the fatal stabbing of an Ecuadorean immigrant in New York has pleaded guilty to gang assault as a hate crime.

Jose Pacheco agreed Wednesday to testify against other defendants accused in the death of dry-cleaning worker Marcelo Lucero (mar-SEHL'-oh loo-SEHR'-oh).

Lucero was stabbed in the chest Nov. 8, 2008, in Patchogue (PACH'-awg), N.Y.

Authorities say seven teens went looking for a Latino victim. Last month, another defendant pleaded guilty to conspiracy and hate crime charges and agreed to testify.

The year since the Lucero slaying has put national spotlight on the area's race relations. The U.S. Justice Department launched a probe of hate crimes and police response to them.