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. Philip

    RUFFNUT and his conspiracy theory.

    January 26, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. RUFFNUTT

    problably what happen was the mexcan slipped them some acid, they had a bad trip and thought the mexican was on fire and tried to put him out..

    or they had mud on therre shes and thought he was a shoe scrapper..

    January 26, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Philip

    Jesus thspoke withe a lithpse, just as all Galileans did. The people from Jerusalem (aka Jews) were kinda snooty and made fun of him. They believed that they were somehow superior to him because they spoke "perfect" hebrew. I see this is how it is here in the US also. We even think the Texas drawl sounds stupid. (well, even I have to admit it does. he he)

    January 26, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT

      just think if jesus knew kung-fu..

      January 26, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. MrKrieg

    Most cops are pigs. But PA cops are the worst of them all.

    January 27, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Sad

      Mr Krieg, Report back to the 60's immediatly. There's some acid waiting for you there.

      January 27, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ace

    What is wrong with some people these days. do onto othes as you would have done your self or on to your family or to your GOD!!!

    January 27, 2011 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  6. Philip

    @RUFFNUT...he knew more than kung-fu. He once singlehandedly drove dozens of greedy Jews from the temple with nothing more than a whip made of tent chords! He was an amazing man.

    January 27, 2011 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  7. Philip

    @nepa...very good point.

    January 27, 2011 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
  8. lives.there

    This happened in the county I live in. These cops deserve life. The fact is NOBODY knew if he was a citizen when he was attacked by 5 drunk teens.

    January 27, 2011 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
    • EL SID

      WRONG....PLEASE GET THE FACTS STRAIGHT!!!!

      DRUG DEALER, UNDERAGE CHILD MOLESTER, ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT, LAW BREAKER....JUST A FEW FACTS ALL SEEM TO OVE- LOOK. I HOPE ONE MOVES INTO YOUR NEIGHBOR HOOD AND LETS SEE HOW YOU FEEL.

      OH YEA....FATHER OF TWO, WHILE DONKING THE MOTHER OF THREE'S LITTLE SISTER WHO WAS 15 AT THE TIME.

      January 27, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Schuylkill Native

      I also live in Schuylkill County. Every fool involved in the incident from the high school students to the Shenendoah cops has damaged this county in ways they could ever imagine. No business wants to invest in a region known for three things: racism, ignorance, and corruption.

      Thanks Shendo, for making sure we'll always be behind the rest of eastern PA. Shendo truly is a blight on our county – literally and metaphorically.

      January 28, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. eddie

    i dont see what all the fuss is about. in california, the mexis kill each other off, in gang related retaliaton or turf wars every single fcking day. they are taking over the whole state,they multiply like roaches. they are totally disrespectful to American people. they hate u.s. people. why should we have respect for them! they destroy the economy. all of them are on welfare with their 12 babies each per family. they go to hospitals and never pay a bill...it is the hard-working, americans that have to foot the bill. America wise up! get rid of these greasy, foul-smelling, baby machines that have kids who grow up in gangs and live a Thugs life with knives and guns, always ready to do something destructive and evil. when are we as a society going to STAND UP and DEMAND that something be done about this situation before it gets more out of hand. why do American citizens put up with this nonsense. FCK THEM. they are not special or good for any society. let them go back to their own country

    January 27, 2011 at 2:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. chely

    This is sad no one should be killed no matter where you came from and for the people who say we only speak English here your wrong this country is made up of immigrates they should be allowed to speak what they want, but i do think the should also learn english just because most people here speak english.

    January 27, 2011 at 3:04 am | Report abuse |
  11. Philip

    @Eddie...even though they warn us of terrorism, our government keeps the southern border open. Why? Because too many US citizens are lazy and will not work. Many are drunks claiming Social security disability. Many are too fat to work. Many are criminals. I've lived in socal, and have seen both illegal Mexicans and legal Gangstas doing as you desscribe. There really is no way for any government on earth to resolve this issue. And it's only getting worse. I moved back to Colorado to get away from it, but they are here too. not as bad, yet. What can we do if our gov. does nothing?

    January 27, 2011 at 3:39 am | Report abuse |
  12. gizmo

    Cops are just another gang as far as i'm interested. The only real difference is they have the badge and gun to back up their b.s. .

    January 27, 2011 at 5:15 am | Report abuse |
  13. gizmo

    Cops are just another gang as far as i'm interested. The only real difference is they have the badge and gun to back up their b.s.. They fly their colours just like the rest of those gang banging idiotz! Two wrongs don't make a right!

    January 27, 2011 at 5:18 am | Report abuse |
  14. EyesOpen

    I think folks are missing something important here. I keep hearing 'all this for a mexi' and 'blahblahillegalblah'. But that's not what this is really about. Regardless of your feelings on immigration in general (or your more specific personal failings as a bigot and a racist), we should know better than to think crooked Johnnys are anything but. They didn't try to cover this up because 'hey, who cares? Hes mexi'. They did it because they had ties with the people involved in the beating death of another. Could have been a black driving thru town or a white drifter or any other person seeen as a stranger and these cops would have done the same thing to protect their own from the consequences of the act. That is an exceedingly dangerous thing to applaud or minimize. Crooked cops are crooked cops.

    January 27, 2011 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
  15. stacell

    $50.00 says the jury acquits them....Losers

    January 27, 2011 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
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