Community reacts to Conroy verdict

Jeffrey Conroy's parents, Lori and Robert Conroy, leave

Jeffrey Conroy's parents, Lori and Robert Conroy, leave court, Monday, after hearing a jury convict their son of manslaughter in the first degree as a hate crime. (April 19, 2010) Photo Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

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3:25 p.m. Student: Verdict was right, but crime still casts shadow over school.


The jury in the Lucero case made the right decision, said Jonathan Smaldone 16, a junior at Patchogue-Medford High School, where Conroy and six other defendents were students.

"Just thinking about it, I don't even think it's acceptable that he did that. It's not acceptable what happened," Smaldone said. "Just knowing that it happened makes me walk around and feel unsafe."

He and other students said racial tensions at the school have heightened since Lucero's death. Some worried that the crime put other students in a bad light.

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"Some kids are disappointed that some people could even act like this, how kids can do this and not care for other people's feelings," Smaldone said. - Keiko Morris



3:04 p.m. Gov. Paterson says verdict shows New York won't tolerate hate, but the fight continues.


"Just hours after the news of the crime broke, it became clear that the impetus for this heinous act was nothing less than prejudice, revealing an anti-immigrant sentiment that threatens not only those who speak another language or look differently, but all New Yorkers," Gov. David A. Paterson said in a statement released Monday afternoon. "Today's verdict makes clear that New York has no tolerance for such intolerance . . . We must continue our work to fight discrimination - whether motivated by race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation." - Jennifer Smith



12:30 p.m. Victim's brother says Lucero family is satisfied.


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Joselo Lucero, Marcelo's brother, said after the verdict that the family was satisfied with the job done by the district attorney's office.

"The hunting season is over, at least for now," Lucero said. "We are Spanish, but are not animals." - Bart Jones



12:30 p.m. Patchogue minister: Verdict sends strong message

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The Rev. Dwight Wolter, pastor of the Congregational Church of Patchogue, said the verdict sends a strong message to anyone considering a hate crime.

"What it says - and this is where Suffolk County has come through - is if you think you're going to get away with this kind of stuff, you're going to be seriously wrong," Wolter said. "You're going to be held to serious consequences."