"Ringleader" Pleads Guilty in LI Bias-Attack Slay

By Greg Cergol
|  Wednesday, Dec 2, 2009  |  Updated 1:16 PM EDT
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"Ringleader" Pleads Guilty in LI Bias-Attack Slay

Pacheco will be sentenced in January and faces five to twenty five years in prison.

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For Joselo Lucero, it was a nightmare revisited.

The Patchogue man sat quietly in a Suffolk county court and listened to details of how his brother, Marcelo was hunted down and murdered by a gang of seven teens last November -- simply because he was Hispanic.

The account of the attack was supplied by one of the teens, Jose Pacheco, who pleaded guilty to gang assault and conspiracy charges in the case.

Dressed in a dark suit, with his hands shackled behind him, the 18 year old Pacheco was asked by prosecutor Megan O'Donnell, "Were all seven of you walking the streets looking for an Hispanic man?"

"Yes," Pacheco responded, his head bowed.

Pacheco went on to say that co-defendant Jeffrey Conroy had actually stabbed Lucero during the attack in Patchogue.

Under his plea deal, Pacheco may be asked to testify against his co-defendants. He is the second of the seven to plead guilty but was described as a "ringleader" by district attorney Thomas Spota.

"These were marauders," Spota said, "bent on attacking Hispanics."

Pacheco will be sentenced in January and faces five to twenty five years in prison.

His lawyer said Pacheco has "deep regrets" about what happened.

"There are only losers here, no winners," said attorney Christopher Brocato.

Joselo Lucero agrees but says he will be present for all future court dates for the remaining five defendants.

"I need to be here for my brother," Lucero said. "To see justice."

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