The death of Marcelo Lucero was a family tragedy and an international story.

Yesterday, it became Suffolk's first-ever conviction in a hate crime involving a death.

The verdict laid an emotional capstone on the 17-month ordeal that followed the attack.

The outcry after Lucero's death shined a harsh light on ethnic tensions on Long Island, where some Hispanics say they fear to walk the streets.

Learning that the jury, after three days of deliberation, had determined her son's death was a hate crime, Rosario Lucero wept and said, "May God forgive them."