No Bail for Jeffrey Conroy
Posted by shadmia on November 25, 2008
Without comment, state Supreme Court Justice Robert Doyle denied Jeffrey Conroy bail and ordered him back to jail. Conroy – who is being held on charges that include second-degree murder as a hate crime, manslaughter and gang assault – pleaded not guilty to all charges. His lawyer, William Keahon of Islandia, says that his client is innocent and he intends to prove it.
“I promise that the district attorney’s office will not and cannot convict my client because he is innocent,” Keahon said.
Jeffrey Conroy, 17, is accused of stabbing to death 37-year-old Marcelo Lucero on Nov. 8 2008 during a racially-motivated gang assault involving himself and 6 other teens from Patchogue-Medford High School in Long Island, NY. In fact the 7 teens had been “beaner jumping” – a derogatory term used to signify that they were looking for Hispanics to beat up – that night.
They had picked on other Hispanics before encountering Lucero. After hurling racial epithets at Lucero – who was from Ecuador – the teens proceeded to punch and kick him. Lucero unsuccessfully tried to defend himself with the belt from his pants but he was hopelessly overwhelmed by the teens. The brawl ended when Conroy plunged his knife into Lucero’s chest, killing him.
Jordan Dasch, Nicholas Hausch, Kevin Shea, and Anthony Hartford, all 17 years old from Medford;
Christopher Overton, 16, and Jose Pacheco, 17, of East Patchogue;
Bail was set by Suffolk County Court Judge C. Randall Hinrichs at $250,000 cash or $500,000 bond for 5 of the 6 teens.
Christopher Overton was held without bail, citing the suspect’s previous felony conviction in connection with a botched 2007 burglary that left homeowner Carlton Shaw Sr., 38, dead on the lawn of his East Patchogue home.
Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota insisted his office had a “very, very strong case” against Conroy and the other six defendants. Spota said the hate crime charges should send a message to the would-be perpetrators of other bias attacks.
“The clear-cut message,” Spota said, “is we in Suffolk County, we do take it very seriously.”
The indictments of the 6 teens were announced the same day as the funeral was held for Marcelo Lucero in Ecuador. His grieving mother, Rosario, said the latest indictments were nothing to celebrate but the charges are “well deserved. They need to understand the pain they have caused us.”
Marcello Lucero liked playing volleyball and lifting weights. He rented movies with friends and called his mother in Ecuador several times a week. Lucero was 10 when his father died of a heart attack. “Suddenly, he became the man of the house and had to help my mother raise three younger siblings,” said his brother, also known as Efriam. “He never complained. There were so few opportunities at home,” his brother said. “He wanted the American dream.” So he traveled to the United States.
“Even though he’d been in the United States for 16 years, he always said, ‘I miss home. I’m going back,'” his brother Joselo said yesterday. “Now he’ll never be able to go home.”
The following set of videos show a part of the life of Marcelo Lucero and the struggles that some immigrants go through to find a better life for themselves and their families.
Many men travel to the US leaving behind their families including children who miss their fathers very much:
It is sometimes difficult to understand the conditions that motivate immigrants – many of them illegal – to leave in their homeland in search of work to send back money to improve the lives of their loved ones.
The funeral for Marcelo was attended by hundreds from the town of Gualaceo, Ecuador, where he was born and lived, until coming to the U.S. His mother, Rosario and sister, Isabel, carried his ashes to the church and the cemetery followed by crowds of well-wishers.