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. HeIsGod

    Put these sorry lifeless fools in prison!

    January 26, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • jason

      i say lets let them loose and catch more of the immigrants

      January 26, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Noro

    May they burn in hell along with the two clowns who committed this murder

    January 26, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • c

      four clowns: the one that more than likely delivered the fatal blow is in the youth system, one pled guilty initially and the other two were recently found guilty after the federal trial.

      January 26, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Cesar

    The poor guy, father of two beaten to death; filthy killers. They are not true policemen.

    January 26, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • c

      the poor guy was also "dating" a child when all this happened, while engaged to her older sister.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • EL SID



      January 27, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • The Man

      So, c, let me get this straight: you're suggesting that, due to some bad personal decisions made by the victim, he deserved what occurred to him?!? You're right, that would be justice, plain and simple, just like in the Dark Ages, when little gnomes lived in peoples brains and caused them to have headaches...

      January 27, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. lovewithoutborders

    @ Rick. So lets say YOU ended up dead in another country should we just overlook it then?

    January 26, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. kim

    Repect is so easy more people should mind there owm business and they would have less problems. If they just went to the game and went home instead of picking a fight they wouldnt be in the trouble there in and the police should of did the job they where paid to do they wouldnt be on the oppisite side of the law. Cant change it now.

    January 26, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. A concerned American

    Makes me happy and hopefully more bad eggs in the Justice System will get caught in thrown in Prison where they belong

    January 26, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Aussie oioi

    Let down three times by wolves dressed as all American good boy sports players, wolves dressed in police uniforms and by a circus disguised as a justice system. So sorry for his family.
    I wonder what other crimes the pack of wolves have committed, covered up and hidden from the circus.

    January 26, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jason

    in other countries such as 3rd world countries you would be killed or imprisoned for life you are all stupid were the only nation that goes oh its ok come on over illegal and well take care of you well hire you and then not except you to speak english or adapt to Americas society.

    January 26, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Noro

      Until the us gets rid of ignorant rednecks like you, it will also be a third world country

      January 27, 2011 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Shanon

      Before you start your hate spewing, maybe you should look up the definition of a few words. Better yet, before you start complaining about how these people are unable to speak proper English, you could learn it yourself. You are a disgrace to the human population. It must be tough carrying around all that anger and hate all day. What a waste of energy.

      January 27, 2011 at 6:54 am | Report abuse |

    if he hadn't been here illegaly he would still be alive..

    January 26, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |

      So crooked cops only target illegals, you must be quite the sheltered one.

      January 26, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |

      the kids stomped him. the cops supposedly tried to cover it up.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • nepawoods

      The killers didn't know his immigration status. If Ramirez were here legally – if he had a green card in his pocket – he'd be jjust as dead. His immigration status is entirely irrelevant to what happened that evening.

      January 27, 2011 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  10. John

    What is this world coming 2. U CAN NOT TRUST ANYONE ANY MORE.

    January 26, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. pmgnn

    From reading the above remarks, it seems many of the above do not know the facts in the case. This does not excuse the police if they in fact tried to cover up the investigation. But according to the newspapers, Mr Ramirez had an initial confrontation with these young men. Ramirez seemed about 10 years older. As each party walked away, the boys may have taunted Mr Ramirez. He then turned around and charged into a crowd of 3-5 boys in a fighting mode.

    If this in fact occured, then Mr Ramirez caused some of his own misfortune. I lived in a large city years ago and was continually confronted and taunted by groups of 3-10 black young men. I was never crazy enough to charge into a group like that in a fighting mode.

    The trouble with these type of articles, is it is near impossible to determine what occurred as the authors do not provide even minimal facts as to what occurred. One has to go to the internet and search out the local newspapers to see if there are facts to be found. The authors that write these stories are not very good at their craft.

    January 26, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • nepawoods

      Another fact you forgot to mention is that the fatal kick to the skull was delivered while Ramirez was laying unconscious on the pavement.

      January 27, 2011 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
  12. Philip

    Here we go again. Another "conspiracy theory" that government officials do bad things and try to make it look like someone else did it. (he he)

    January 26, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. robert

    Whats the world coming too!! sure he may been illegal to enter the states.But what right does anyone to beat someone to death. What rights went to the victims family? We are supppose to be the great melting pot of society or at least thats what I was taught. Sure everyone has right freedom and harmony and peace. People now or days will beat children,elderly people for what? I have no problem if the come over here with the right to work legally here.But mark my words you come to hurt my family, or anyone I care . It won't matter where you are I will get mine full when said and done.

    January 26, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. dino

    I have been to that town and the whole area is full of racist. I feel bad for the Latinos in that community. WherenMt they trying to pass an English speaking only law as well

    January 26, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |

      this is the usa.. we speak english here. not mexicaneese or spanglish.

      altho i wish i spoke spanish so they would get my order right at tacobell.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zach

      why dont they just leave the town then? You choose where you live.

      January 27, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |

    they did the mash... the monster mash....

    January 26, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Noro

      Go back to your trailer park bubba. adults are talking here

      January 27, 2011 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
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