As his family and dozens of friends sniffed back tears, the Medford man who testified that Jeffrey Conroy fatally stabbed Ecuadorean immigrant Marcelo Lucero in Patchogue was sentenced Thursday to 5 years in prison for his role in the 2008 hate attack.
Nicholas Hausch, 19, kissed his girlfriend and hugged friends before he stood in front of State Supreme Court Justice Robert W. Doyle to be sentenced in Suffolk County Court. When the judge asked whether he wanted to make a statement, Hausch shook his head no.
Hausch, the first of seven teens charged in the attack to admit his role in Lucero's death, was the last to be sentenced.
Lucero's death on Nov. 9, 2008, a few hours after he was stabbed by Jeffrey Conroy near the Patchogue train station, reverberated around the world. It prompted an ongoing federal review of Suffolk's handling of crimes reported by Latinos.
When he testified in April, Hausch said he and the others went to Patchogue in search of Hispanics to attack.
Conroy, 19, of Medford, is serving 25 years in prison for stabbing Lucero, 37, of Patchogue. He was convicted of first-degree manslaughter as a hate crime and other charges.
In court yesterday, Lucero's brother, Joselo Lucero, 37, of Patchogue, asked Hausch for a favor: "Go to the schools and tell people the story of what happened to you," Lucero said.
He told reporters outside court that he agreed with Hausch's sentence.
"Today, I finished," he said. "I've been here to the end. I've seen everyone get exactly what they deserve."
Hausch pleaded guilty last November to first-degree gang assault and fourth-degree conspiracy for his role in the attack on Lucero. He also pleaded guilty to second-degree assault as a hate crime and second-degree attempted assault as a hate crime in connection with attacks on two other Hispanic men. Doyle had promised him a sentence of between 5 and 25 years in prison.
Spota confirmed outside court that there is an investigation into the alleged attack on Hausch. "It clearly was the result of his testifying in court," Spota said. Spota declined to say whether arrests are imminent.
Bassett said outside court that Hausch lost several teeth in that incident.
The district attorney credited Hausch for being "the only defendant who cooperated" with prosecutors.
"He told the world what happened," Spota said. "This truly was a hate crime. That is what they intended. . . . If it was not for Mr. Hausch, we may have never known what their intentions were."