Another teen guilty of hate crime in Ecuadorean's death

December 2, 2009 9:31:23 AM PST
One of the six remaining defendants awaiting a Long Island trial in the fatal attack on an Ecuadorean immigrant has pleaded guilty to gang assault as a hate crime. Jose Pacheco has agreed to testify against other defendants accused in the death of dry cleaning worker Marcelo Lucero.

Lucero was stabbed in the chest on Nov. 8, 2008 in Patchogue, N.Y.

Authorities say seven teens went 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 a national spotlight on the area's race relations. The U.S. Justice Department launched a probe of hate crimes and police response to them.