Convictions and Acquittal for Pennsylvania Cops Accused of Covering Up Luis Ramirez Killing

Two days after beginning deliberations, a federal jury convicted two of three Pennsylvania police officers on charges related to covering up the killing of a Mexican immigrant.

Matthew Nestor, Jason Hayes, and William Moyer, all police officers in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, were accused of aiding a group of white teenagers after they brutally assaulted Luis Ramirez in July 2008.

The New York Times reports on the verdict:

Mr. Nestor, the former Shenandoah police chief, was found guilty of falsifying records, a charge that could bring up to 20 years in prison, but he was acquitted of conspiracy. Mr. Moyer, a former Shenandoah lieutenant, was convicted of lying to the F.B.I., but acquitted of all other counts, including obstruction of justice, and he faces up to five years in prison. Mr. Hayes, a former patrolman, was acquitted of all charges.

The Times goes on to describe how the officers impacted the investigation and trial of Ramirez’s killers:

Latinos said that the main defendants in the death — Brandon Piekarsky, a member of a high school football team, and his friend, Derrick Donchak — got off with light sentences of misdemeanors in a state trial in 2009. Federal prosecutors later pressed civil rights charges, and in October, got convictions, with possible life sentences.

Prosecutors said the officers misrepresented facts during their investigation because they had personal connections to the families of the accused. Mr. Nestor had vacationed with Mr. Piekarsky’s mother, according to the indictment; Mr. Hayes was dating her.

As for the specifics about the convictions, The Philadelphia Inquirer has more info:

Nestor was found guilty of falsifying his police report, a charge that carries up to 20 years in prison. Moyer, who had faced five counts, was found guilty of lying to the FBI and acquitted of the others. Hayes was acquitted of both charges against him.