Teens to be arraigned on hate crime charge

POTTSVILLE, Pa. - December 22, 2009

Eighteen-year-old Brandon Piekarsky and 19-year-old Derrick Donchak will be arraigned in Wilkes-Barre on charges stemming from the July 2008 beating death of 25-year-old Luis Ramirez in Shenandoah.

A jury had previously acquitted Piekarsky and Donchak of all serious state charges in the case, angering Hispanic leaders and civil-rights groups. The decision prompted Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell to ask the Justice Department to pursue civil-rights charges against the teens.

Three Shenandoah police officers were charged separately last week with obstructing the investigation into Ramirez's death.

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