Friday, November 12, 2010

Donchak, Piekarsky, Indicted - Beating Death Of Undocumented Immigrant

A teenager testified two friends, Donchak and Piekarsky, charged in the beating death of an undocumented worker in Shenandoah, Pa., delivered the fatal blow to Luis Ramirez, and undocumented immigrant from central Mexico.  The teen then plotted to lie about it with co-conspirators that night and again the next morning.

Is there enough evidence against the pair and a third suspect to send the case to trial?

Ben Lawson, who is 17, said Ramirez was fighting with one of the suspects, Derrick M. Donchak, when friend Colin Walsh, sucker-punched the victim.  With the undocumented worker out cold on the ground, Brandon Piekarsky  kicked Ramirez in the head in a foot ball style field goal kick. 

Walsh,  who was 17, and Piekarsky, who was 16, were charged as adults with homicide and ethnic intimidation. Donchak, 18, was charged with aggravated assault, ethnic intimidation and other offenses.

The teens were football players at Shenandoah Valley High School.  Donchak was the quarterback.

The group encountered Ramirez, who was 25, and a teenage girl in a park.  Another teen, Brian Scully, goaded the girl, saying, "Isn't it a little late for you to be out?"   In other words, why was she with Ramirez.

Ramirez began making phone calls in Spanish and Scully began yelling racial slurs at Ramirez.  A fight started.

As Ramirez was fighting with Donchak, Walsh punched Ramirez in the face. He fell to the ground and hit his head on the pavement leaving him unconscious.  Piekarsky kicked Ramirez in the head, Lawson said.

The boys met that night and again the next day. 

"We made up a plan that we we're going to tell the cops that nobody kicked him, that there were no racial slurs, there was no booze, and Brian got hit first," Lawson said.

Ramirez, who entered the U.S. illegally about six years ago, picked strawberries and cherries.  His 24-year-old fiancee, a white girl who spent her childhood in Shenandoah, said Ramirez local bullies often called Ramirez ugly names and told him to "go home to Mexico". The couple had two children together.

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