Split verdict for ex-cops accused of covering up immigrant's beating death
Matthew Nestor, left, Jason Hayes and William Moyer were accused of obstructing justice.
January 27th, 2011
06:53 PM ET

Split verdict for ex-cops accused of covering up immigrant's beating death

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.

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Filed under: Crime • Pennsylvania
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. OmniKronosus

    This is very unfortunate, but I believe that this is just the beginning. It will happen again if we do not close the massive loop-hole for illegals in the 14th amendment. Say"NO" to amnesty! Eighty percent of all revenue that goes to Mexico comes from the U.S.A. It is time that we stopped supporting other countries at the expense of our own. We cannot bail-out the entire third world.

    January 29, 2011 at 5:52 am | Report abuse |
  2. OmniKronosus

    I would be pleased to pay more for food and services, construction costs, and highway taxes while supporting American citizens jobs. Any argument on saving money is just the same old Bush propaganda stating "they are doing jobs that no American will do." Businesses have sold out this country for profits, plain and simple. If our citizens are lazy, unproductive or even too proud to do this kind of work, this would be a wake up call. Let us work on Social Security and Welfare reform. If they are able, force them to work for their paychecks.

    January 29, 2011 at 6:10 am | Report abuse |
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