Prosecutor in Pennsylvania Hate-Slay Suspected a Police Cover-Up

Schuylkill County District Attorney James Goodman testified Wednesday that he took over the investigation of the hate crime killing of Mexican immigrant Luis Ramirez because he suspected the police were involved in a cover-up.

Goodman said he had never before had to relieve police officers of primary responsibility for investigating a crime.

“I made the determination that the Shenandoah police were no longer going to be involved in the investigation,” Goodman told the Standard Speaker. “I was not happy with the way the case was progressing.”

The district attorney continued:

“I already knew these boys were lying,” he said. “We knew there was a cover-up. I reached out to the (state) attorney general’s office. We continued to look into the death of Luis Ramirez. I made the decision at that point (to keep the beating case). Another agency would look into the actions of the Shenandoah police.”

Three former members of the Shenandoah Police Department – Matthew R. Nestor, William Moyer, and Jason Hayes – are charged with interfering with the investigation into the death of Ramirez. Jason Hayes, who was involved in a romantic relationship with the mother of one of the young attackers and is now engaged to her, has emerged as a central figure in the trial.

The mother of one of the six young men, Julie Mickalowski, also testified yesterday. She said that Moyer called her and said, “‘Julie, Bill Moyer here. If Brian has a pair of Columbia blue and gray sneakers, he should get rid of them.’” The sneakers were those described by a witness as having been worn by one of the assailants.

As of the end of the week, the prosecution had rested and the defense will begin calling witnesses this week.

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