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Witness: Conroy ignored advice not to beat people up

File - Jeffrey Conroy, standing next to his

File - Jeffrey Conroy, standing next to his lawyer Bill Keahon, pleads not guilty to additional charges brought against him on Feb. 2, 2009. Photo Credit: Newsday File / James Carbone

Jason Moran said he warned Jeffrey Conroy and six other teenagers not to go to Patchogue in search of people to beat up, the Medford teenager testified Friday in Suffolk County Court in Riverhead.

"We were all telling them it's not a good idea - 'You shouldn't do that,' " Moran said on the second day of testimony in Conroy's murder and manslaughter trial. "They kind of just blew it off, like, 'You don't know what you're talking about.' "

Moran, 18, now a student at Suffolk County Community College, detailed the evening of Nov. 8, 2008, when he and a group of about 14 teenagers gathered at the Medford train station and then went to Southhaven County Park in Yaphank.

Prosecutors say Conroy, 19, of Medford, was among seven teens who attacked Ecuadorean immigrant Marcelo Lucero and that Conroy fatally stabbed him. He is the only one of the seven who is charged with second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter, both as hate crimes.

Moran, under questioning by Assistant District Attorney Megan O'Donnell, said the teens were in small groups, hanging out at Southhaven County Park, when several hatched the idea to go out and beat up people.

"They were going from group to group letting everyone know," he testified.

The teens "said they wanted to go to Patchogue to find someone to beat up," Moran said. When O'Donnell asked what type of person they wanted to beat up, he replied, "a Mexican."

On cross-examination, Moran said he personally told only Nicholas Hausch not to go, saying, "Don't do this. It's not a smart idea."

Hausch, of Medford, pleaded guilty in November to first-degree gang assault, among other charges, and is expected to testify against Conroy.

Moran also said on cross-examination Conroy had numerous Latino friends, including an ex-girlfriend who was part Ecuadorean.

Also on Friday, Suffolk County Police Officer Frank Munsch testified Lucero was conscious and had his eyes open when the officer first found him lying in a pool of blood in Patchogue around midnight. Munsch said he applied pressure to Lucero's chest wound until an ambulance crew arrived and took over.

During cross-examination, Munsch said his police sergeant had requested aviation for transport to a hospital at 12:15 a.m., after Lucero was losing consciousness.

At about 12:20 a.m., aviation indicated to police that it would take 15 to 20 minutes to get there, but the ambulance departed for a nearby landing zone after that, Munsch said during cross-examination.

Defense attorney William Keahon has raised questions about ambulance response times, Lucero's medical treatment before getting to the hospital, and delays in getting Lucero to the hospital.

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