May 4th, 2009
12:03 PM ET

No murder conviction in Mexican immigrant's beating death

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more on the case on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

Luis Ramirez died of blunt force injuries after a confrontation with a group of Pennsylania teens.
Luis Ramirez died of blunt force injuries after a confrontation with a group of Pennsylania teens.

Brian Rokus

A former Pennsylvania high school football player was acquitted of murder Friday in the beating death of a Mexican immigrant last summer.

However, a Schuylkill County jury found Brandon Piekarsky and Derrick Donchak guilty of simple assault stemming from the death of Luis Ramirez, who died of blunt force injuries to the head after a fight with the defendants and their friends.

Donchak, 19, was also found guilty of providing alcohol to the group of teens that encountered Ramirez the night of July 12 on a residential street in the rural mining town of Shenandoah.

Both teens were acquitted of ethnic intimidation charges.

Prosecutors alleged the teens baited the undocumented Mexican immigrant into a fight with racial epithets, provoking an exchange of punches and kicks that ended with Ramirez convulsing in the street, foaming from the mouth.

He died two days later in a hospital in Danville.

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soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. paulernestshow

    I wonder what we could have been saying had this been done to an American oversea. We ought to be very careful with what we do to other people because of ethnicity. What goes around does come around. These guys killed this guy and should have had maximum penalty

    May 4, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  2. Vickie Show Me State

    Simple assault? Their action's are what caused this man to die. It's not assault! It's murder!!!!!!!!!!

    May 4, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  3. Julia Rose

    Their acquittal is a shameful smear on the US justice system and on those citizens who made up the jury.

    May 4, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  4. Douglas M

    My family lived very close to this area back in the 1980s it was very racist then and I am not surprised that these guys got off without a slap on the hands. I am actually amazed they were brought to trial. I believed an outside law enforcement agency forced the investigation but they were never going to get a conviction.
    Where are all the Human Rights organizations? Why aren't they objecting and pushing for a Federal investigation?

    May 4, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  5. GF, Los Angeles

    I have mixed feelings about this case. It's sad that someone died but I can understand the racial tension involving illegals. Many Americans have had enough of illegals and all their marching on May 1 here in Los Angeles just stirs up even more of that sentiment. Economic times are hard right now and losing our jobs to non-citizens will create more anger and hostility. I hope Obama thinks about that before he "reforms" immigration for law breakers.

    May 4, 2009 at 12:39 pm |