4 Police Officers Indicted in Fatal Race-Related Beating
Four police officers are among six people that were indicted in the beating of Luis Eduardo Ramirez Zavala, as was reported by the Justice Department today.
The indictments, handed out by a federal grand jury last week, have racked up to three and include federal hate crime charges, along with conspiracy, extortion charges, obstruction of justice and official conduct, according to authorities.
Shenandoah Police Chief Matthew Nestor, Lt. William Moyer and Officer Jason Hayes have all been charged by federal authorities with conspiring to obstruct justice.
Taking place back in July 2008 in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, Ramirez was beaten and hospitalized where he laid in a coma on life support before dying two days later.
Moyer has also been charged with witness and evidence tampering and lying to the FBI, according to authorities. He faces five additional years, along with the other charges, for his false statements.
There have been allegations from the prosecutors that Moyer and Hayes aided in creating a story for the teens, along with Hayes giving them a ride home from the scene of the crime.
Nestor and Capt. Jamie Gennarini have allegations against them that they conspired cash payouts from illegal gambling operations with the area of Shenandoah.
Each officer is facing a sentence of 20 years in prison on obstruction charges and five years for conspiring to obstruct justice.
“The power granted to law enforcement officers does not place them above the law,” Thomas E. Perez, assistant U.S. Attorney General said.
Along with the officers, teens Derrick Donchak and Brandon Piekarsky are both being charged with a hate crime for the fatal beating of Ramirez while shouting racial slurs at him, according to prosecutors.
They have been acquitted of aggravated assault, ethnic intimidation along with other charges tied in with the death of Ramirez.
If found guilty, Donchak and Piekarsky will face a maximum sentence of life in prison.