RIVERHEAD, N.Y. - A teenager convicted of manslaughter as a hate crime in the killing of an Ecuadorean immigrant received the maximum sentence of 25 years in prison yesterday, with the judge saying "the proof was overwhelming."

Jeffrey Conroy, 19, who was convicted last month in the November 2008 stabbing death of Marcelo Lucero, offered an apology before state Supreme Court Justice Robert W. Doyle imposed the sentence.

"I'm really sorry for what happened to Mr. Lucero. I'm really sorry for the whole situation. I feel really bad for what his whole family is going through right now," said Conroy.

Conroy was one of seven teenagers implicated in the killing but the only one to go to trial. The killing put a spotlight on troubled race relations on Long Island and led to a U.S. Justice Department probe of bias attacks against Hispanics and the police response to such crimes.