Funeral held for victim in LI stabbing

November 15, 2008 5:01:05 PM PST
One day after seven teenagers were indicted in the murder of an Ecuadorian immigrant, friends and family are gathering on Long Island Saturday to remember the victim.Police say Marcello Lucero was targeted because he was Hispanic.

The funeral began around 7 p.m. A large crowd gathered to say goodbye to a man who has become a symbol of peace for the community.

Luis Ordonez say Lucero was a quiet and humble man who simply came to the U.S. for a better life.

Dozens lined up outside the Congregational Church of Patchogue, hoping to fit inside to pay their final respects to Lucero.

"People are coming together," Fernandez Mateo said. "People see this was a brutal crime. They see this was a racial crime, something that should have never happened."

That's why hundreds also gathered Friday night, waving signs and demanding justice at the spot where seven teens are accused of the brutal and deadly hate crime.

A grand jury indicted all seven late Friday afternoon for allegedly beating and stabbing Lucero to death.

The Ecuadorian ambassador says he is working with law enforcement to allow undocumented and illegal immigrants to report crimes without fear of being deported.

He believes the public outcry and unity in the Latino community will help prevent something like this from happening again.

The specific charges against the teens are expected to be unsealed on Tuesday. The teens are expected to plead not guilty.

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STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Carolina Leid

WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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