Jury selection begins in Pa. immigrant death

April 22, 2009 8:34:32 AM PDT
Jury selection is under way for two northeastern Pennsylvania teenagers charged in the fatal beating of an illegal immigrant from Mexico. Schuylkill County prosecutors allege the attack on 25-year-old Luis Ramirez was racially motivated.

Prosecutors have charged 17-year-old Brandon Piekarsky of Shenandoah with third-degree murder. He and 19-year-old Derrick Donchak, also of Shenandoah, are charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and ethnic intimidation.

Another 17-year-old boy allegedly involved in the attack has entered a plea in federal court.

The beating took place last July 12 in Shenandoah, about 80 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

Piekarsky's lawyer on Wednesday denied it was a hate crime. He says it was a street fight that ended tragically.

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