The last of seven New York teenagers implicated in the hate crime killing of an Ecuadorean immigrant pleaded guilty on Wednesday.
Anthony Hartford's plea to gang assault and other charges closes the prosecution phase of a case that attracted international headlines and prompted an ongoing U.S. Justice Department probe of police responses to bias crimes. The judge indicated Hartford would likely face 10 years in prison when he is sentenced on July 20.
The 18-year-old admitted being with a group that targeted Hispanics for violence in November 2008. Their attacks culminated in the killing of immigrant Marcelo Lucero in Patchogue.
"He's never denied being involved," said defense attorney Laurence Silverman. "He's never denied that it was wrong to be involved."
A week ago, 19-year-old Jeffrey Conroy was sentenced to 25 years in prison for his conviction on manslaughter as a hate crime. Five others are awaiting sentencing.