Jose Pacheco, one of six remaining defendants awaiting trial in the fatal stabbing of Marcelo Lucero, a legal 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. Lucero was stabbed in the chest Nov. 8, 2008, in Patchogue, N.Y. Authorities say seven teens went "Beaner Jumping" 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.
With two of the seven defendants pleading guilty to charges in connection with the hate killing of Ecuadorean immigrant Marcelo Lucero, legal experts say more pleas can be expected as the case moves toward trial.
"It usually ends up being a little bit like bowling pins," said Bruce Barket, a Garden City defense attorney not affiliated with the case. "Once one falls, it tends to cause others to obtain a plea." With Pacheco testifying against the group, it may be possible for the remaining defendants to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Hopefully this will deter future potential Hate Crime attackers from hurting anyone else.
NY teen guilty of hate crime in Ecuadorean's death
STOP HATE CRIMES! Sunday Marks One Year Anniversary of Marcelo Lucero's Murder!