RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (WCBS 880/AP) – The sixth of seven Long Island teenagers to be sentenced for their roles in the stabbing death of an Ecuadorean immigrant got an eight-year prison term on Wednesday.
Kevin Shea, 18, of Medford, pleaded guilty in February to gang assault, conspiracy and other charges in the death of Marcelo Lucero on Nov. 8, 2008.
The killing focused the national debate over immigration on Suffolk County and prompted an ongoing U.S. Justice Department probe of how the police on Long Island respond to hate crimes.
Supreme Court Justice Robert Doyle sentenced Shea for the top count of gang assault. Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota had recommended a 15-year prison term.
Lucero, 37, was walking with a friend when the teenagers confronted them near the Patchogue train station, about 50 miles east of New York City.
Prosecutors said the teens were walking around town looking for targets, began yelling ethnic slurs and approached Lucero and a friend. One of the teens punched Lucero in the face. Lucero and his friend swung their belts in self-defense and began to chase the teens.
In May, Jeffrey Conroy, 19, was sentenced to 25 years in prison following his conviction on manslaughter as a hate crime. He was the one who actually stabbed Lucero.
The last teen still facing sentencing in the case is Nicholas Hausch, 18, of Medford; it is scheduled for Oct. 14. He pleaded guilty last year to first-degree gang assault, second-degree attempted assault as a hate crime and fourth-degree conspiracy.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)