WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Two Pennsylvania teenagers pleaded not guilty in federal court to a hate crime in the death of an illegal Mexican immigrant.
Eighteen-year-old Brandon Piekarsky and 19-year-old Derrick Donchak were arraigned Tuesday in Wilkes-Barre on charges stemming from the July 2008 beating death of 25-year-old Luis Ramirez in the town of Shenandoah.
A jury previously acquitted them of the most serious state charges in the case. That angered Hispanic leaders and civil rights groups. Gov. Ed Rendell asked the Justice Department to pursue civil rights charges.
Three police officers were charged last week with obstructing the investigation into Ramirez's death.