Three former Pennsylvania police officers accused of trying to cover up the investigation into the beating death of an undocumented Mexican immigrant were acquitted of the top charge of conspiracy.
A federal jury found former Shenandoah Police Chief Matthew Nestor and officers William Moyer and Jason Hayes not guilty of conspiracy to obstruct a federal investigation in the July 2008 death of Luis Ramirez, a court official told CNN. The official had knowledge of the verdict but was not authorized to speak.
Nestor was found guilty of falsifying reports and Moyer was convicted of lying to the FBI. Hayes, who was also accused of falsifying police reports, was acquitted of the two charges against him.
"I'd just like to thank all the supporters I had, especially my family, friends and neighbors. I had so many well-wishers from Shenandoah," Moyer said after the verdict, according to CNN affiliate WNEP.
Hayes said he will reapply for his job with the Shenandoah Police Department, WNEP reported.
Ramirez, a day laborer and father of two engaged to a woman from Shenandoah, died three days after he was beaten into a coma in a street fight with members of the small mining town's high school football team.
Derrick M. Donchak and Brandon J. Piekarsky 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, resulting in hate crime convictions for the two young men.
At the time of Ramirez's death, Hayes was dating Piekarsky's mother and the two are now engaged, according to WNEP. Moyer's son was a high school freshman who played football with the youths involved in the attack, according to an indictment.
The three men were accused of helping the boys conceal their roles and of falsifying police reports. Moyer was also charged with witness tampering and lying to the FBI. Each of them testified in their defense and denied the allegations.