Indictments in Patchogue attack temporarily sealed

A grand jury handed down charges Friday against the seven teens accused in the death of an Ecuadorian immigrant in Patchogue, but the indictment won?t be unsealed until next week. Seven teens are charged

News 12 Staff

Nov 16, 2008, 8:30 PM

Updated 5,727 days ago

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A grand jury handed down charges Friday against the seven teens accused in the death of an Ecuadorian immigrant in Patchogue, but the indictment won?t be unsealed until next week.
Seven teens are charged in connection to the death of Marcelo Lucero. Officials say the attack was a hate crime and that Lucero was targeted because of his ethnicity.Seventeen-year-old Jeffery Conroy has been charged with manslaughter as a hate crime. According to officials, Conroy was responsible for stabbing Lucero in the chest.The other teens are facing aggravated assault charges, which has some civil rights activists and groups outraged. "Aggravated assault is not acceptable," Fernando Mateo, of Hispanics Across America says. "Aggravated assault is a slap [on] the arm."
Meanwhile in Patchogue, a community continued its attempts to heal. New York State Human Rights Commissioner Galen Kirkland held a community forum to discuss how to move forward.
?This requires people in the area to learn how to communicate, to share what their true beliefs are on the very radioactive issue of race,? Kirkland says.
The superintendent of Patchogue-Medford Schools says the district has formed a unity committee and anti-bias programs, but that more needs to be done with kids at home.
A thousand people gathered at a vigil held to honor the memory of Lucero on Friday night. Family members, friends and neighbors joined together with photos and candles. State Assemblyman Phil Ramos was in attendance and spoke out about the charges the teens will face.
"Justice must be done in this case," Ramos says. "And I think anything less than that will double the outrage."
Click for more on the vigil held for LuceroClick for more on the forum held in Patchogue
For an extended interview with Kirkland, go to Channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.
On Nov. 18 beginning at 7 p.m., watch News 12 Long Island as County Executive Steve Levy delivers a special address to Long Island. He's hoping to promote racial tolerance. Then join News 12 for a special Long Island Talks with Lea Tyrrell for reaction to Levy's address and the recent hate crimes.


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