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. banasy

    ***Note to self: never move to Shenandoah, Pennsylvania!***

    January 27, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy

    Yeah, here's your badge back, Officer Friendly Hayes!!!

    Just who I want to speak at my elementary school about "stranger danger"!


    January 27, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. latte lover

    The chief convicted of lying to the FBI, the patrolman convicted of falsifying reports, but there was no conspiracy? I guess they took action independent of each other. There's something wrong with the water in this town.

    January 27, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. John

    Finally i see justice..!
    People think corruption only exist on 3rd world countries.. but reaility is America is full of it...
    hope they will stay on jail for a while!

    January 27, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. The two witnesses

    Yes if they knew about the two witnesses that are spoken about in revelation chapter 11 these things would not occur. Please call1 800 613 9494 or log onto http://www.Yahweh. Com today

    January 27, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. raven

    No Conspiracy ?? Im not a cop hater but this is why I dont trust em . If these same people were just citizens theyd all have been convicted .

    January 27, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. banasy

    Are you sure you're really not Small Bunyon?

    January 27, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Big Game James

    @Dick head.

    January 27, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Average Dude

    Whose job did the victim allegedly steal? Your?

    January 27, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. taxchik

    @Dick – Seriously? the immigrant was a day laborer meaning he was probably picking crops, mowing lawns, painting and construction. I'm sure all the jobs that most Americans aspire to do in life (rather than go on welfare). Think about your statement and consider how it sounds....We should focus on educating the masses that higher education is what gets you the better paying jobs not spew hatred.

    January 28, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  11. duke

    Phuck the police and all who wholeheartedly support them!!

    January 28, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  12. Trial goer

    Actually Ramirez was not a day worker. He didnt even have a job. He was a drug dealer engaged to a 15 yr old girl, but that wouldnt make a good story for the news so they leave it out. As soon as the officers realised who the suspects were, they called in the D.A.'s office to take over due to a conflict of interest. So they really didnt even investigate this inccident. I've been to the whole trial and the media has left ALOT out. Such a shame you can't rely on the media to inform the public with ALL the facts.

    January 28, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kimmy

    WHAT !!! Can we give a hell ya for freedom of the press

    January 28, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Melissa

    Um John... Justice? They were found not guilty. What justice was served? The lied and got away with it... Ass backwards justice system!

    January 28, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ed bailey

    And I was naïve enough to think the mormons were the only ones with a viciously corrupt government system. This country taught all the BAD countries in the world how to squash civil rights! Our good ole boys just lie better than those evil dictators.

    January 28, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
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