Jury gets case of officers accused of plot to cover up immigrant's death
Matthew Nestor, left, Jason Hayes and William Moyer are accused of obstructing justice.
January 26th, 2011
06:01 PM ET

Jury gets case of officers accused of plot to cover up immigrant's death

A federal jury has begun deliberating the case of three former Pennsylvania police officers accused of trying to cover up the beating death of an undocumented Mexican immigrant.

A Wilkes-Barre jury began deliberations Wednesday morning in the trial of former Shenandoah Police Chief Matthew Nestor and former officers Jason Hayes and William Moyer. The three men are charged with conspiring to obstruct justice during the investigation into the fatal beating of Luis Ramirez in July 2008. Moyer has also been charged with witness and evidence tampering, and with lying to the FBI.

If convicted, the defendants face 20 years in prison on each of the obstruction charges and an additional five years in prison for conspiring to obstruct justice.

Ramirez, a day laborer and father of two who was engaged to a woman from Shenandoah, died three days after he was beaten into a coma during a street fight with members of the high school football team. The incident divided the rural mining town along racial lines and became a flash point for racial tensions nationwide.

Federal prosecutors allege that the defendants helped the boys concoct a cover story and intentionally omitted incriminating details about the attack in police reports.

Two teens were convicted of simple assault in state court last year but acquitted of murder, prompting an outcry from Latino groups and politicians. Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell urged the federal government to pursue the case, leading to hate crime convictions for Derrick M. Donchak and Brandon J. Piekarsky.

At the time of Ramirez's death, Hayes was dating Piekarsky's mother. Moyer's son was a high school freshman who played football with the boys involved in the attack, an indictment states.

All three men testified in their defense and denied that they tried to hide facts in the investigation, CNN affiliate WNEP reported.

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Filed under: Crime • Pennsylvania
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. A.K.

    I live not too far from this town. it makes me sick when i hear about this. It does not matter that he was an illegal immigrant, he was a human being first. He didnt deserve what these boys did to him. In this part of the stated I know that sports is really important, especially football. So they didnt want these boys in any trouble. This man did not deserve to have his head crushed into the sidewalk. And I dont see how these people can live with themselves after what they did to another human being. And the people in that town are just as bad. They're mad at the dead man. They are blaming him for the trouble that these people are in. They are not one bit upset. They act like nothing bad happened. They are just disgraceful. If these men are found not guilty, then there is something really wrong with this world.

    January 27, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. Arturo

    I say convict them then deport them back to Europe, the cops and the thugs that killed ramirez. How dare they come to our country and commit this crimes. We need to be more selective on who we let into our country. Europe sends to many criminals to the Americas and this has been going on since the 1400 hundreds!!!!

    January 27, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Noro

      Haha I thought nobody would suggest this

      January 27, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sad

    Amazing the outpouring of sympathy here. Where was your outrage when two cops were killed the other day in Florida trying to arrest a bad guy? As a matter of fact, where was the story cnn, didn't even see it on here.

    January 27, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Andrew Luettgen

    It's funny how biased this article is and how none of the comments are coming from people who live in the area where this happened. Anyone take notice to what the author's name is? You people need to learn the facts and not what all these biased news sources feed you.

    January 27, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Noro

    This is what happens when 5 year olds get access to the computer. Mommy needs to stop smoking meth and take care of you once in a while

    January 27, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Schuylkill Native

    I live a few towns over in the same county. The idea of going to the local cops if you have a problem is a well-known joke. The whole community breathed a sigh of relief when the state troopers took over. Nestor was the worst, the worst of the lot, and still faces charges.

    Thanks for bringing such lasting shame to our community guys. Please move away so your names are no longer associated with Schuylkill County. Here we are an hour and a half away from New York and Philadelphia, and these hillbilly cops make us look like the wild west.

    The people of Schuylkill County deserve better than these three fools. Jason Hayes has applied to be reinstated to the force...apparently he hasn't brought us enough shame. Good Lord, if they reinstate him I won't know whether to laugh or cry. I hate having to breathe the same air as these liars.

    January 28, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
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