Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Men get 9 years in prison for Pa. hate-crime death

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — Two Pennsylvania men who were convicted of a federal hate crime for beating and kicking an illegal Mexican immigrant who died of his injuries were sentenced Wednesday to nine years in prison.

Derrick Donchak and Brandon Piekarsky were among a group of white high school football players in the small town of Shenandoah who attacked 25-year-old Luis Ramirez in 2008. Prosecutors alleged they beat and kicked Ramirez because they didn't like Hispanics and wanted them out of their town.

Justice Department prosecutor Myesha Braden said in court Wednesday that while Piekarsky, now 19, and Donchak, now 21, did not intend to kill Ramirez, they decided his ethnicity made him "somehow worthy of being beaten like a dog in the streets."

Defense attorneys said they will appeal the verdicts and sentences.....

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