Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Investigation into Shenandoah beating continues

Investigation into Shenandoah beating continues - News - Republican Herald
Two Shenandoah-area teenagers who are in prison as the result of their part in the fatal beating of an illegal Mexican immigrant in July 2008 in Shenandoah might soon face further legal woes - along with borough police officers.

"There's still a federal investigation that's going to bear out in a month or two," Schuylkill County District Attorney James P. Goodman said Tuesday about the fates of Derrick M. Donchak, 19, of Shenandoah, and Brandon J. Piekarsky, 18, of Shenandoah Heights. "The U.S. attorney has been involved from the beginning."

A federal grand jury is investigating the July 12, 2008, beating of Luis Eduardo Ramirez Zavala, 25, of Shenandoah, who died two days later at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville.

Schuylkill County detectives said Ramirez was beaten and kicked in the head on West Lloyd Street near the Vine Street Park.

After a five-day trial, a Schuylkill County jury on May 1 convicted Donchak and Piekarsky of simple assault, and Donchak of alcohol-related offenses, but found Piekarsky not guilty of third-degree murder and both not guilty of aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person.

On June 17, county President Judge William E. Baldwin, who presided over their five-day trial, sentenced Donchak to seven to 23 months in prison and Piekarsky to six months and seven days to 23 months. The teens reported to the county prison on July 19 to begin serving their sentences, and are still there.

Goodman said the federal probe is about more than just the beating.

"The police did not properly investigate the case," he said. "The police did not do what they were supposed to do. And it was more than that. They were involved in hiding these kids out, concocting a story."

Goodman did not specify which police officers he believes were involved in the alleged mishandling of the case.

Federal officials would not say Tuesday how close possible indictments are.....


Shenandoah, PA People Still Blaming Mexican For His Own Murder 10/22/09

Perspective / context

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell Asks Attorney General Eric Holder to Pursue Civil Rights Charges Against the Murderers of Luis Ramirez 05/30/09

Jury Foreman Calls Other Jurors Racist 05/02/09

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