Shenandoah Hate Crime: Day 2 Brings in 21 New Possible Jurors

There are 21 new prospective jurors on the second day of trial of the of two Shenandoah, Pa., men charged with federal hate crime in the 2008 beating death an undocumented Mexican immigrant.

Yesterday, Judge Richard A. Caputo dismissed 21 of the initial 75 possible members of the jury.

The prosecution team, the two defending attorneys and the judge continued this morning their quest to find the 12 jurors and two alternate jurors for the trial.

It is still unclear how many of those 14 jurors already have the approval of the three parties to sit during the trial of Derrick M. Donchak, 20, and Brandon J. Piekarsky, 18.

Both men face life in prison if found guilty of the charges stemming from the beating that took the life of Luis Eduardo Ramírez Zavala in July 2008.

Just like yesterday, the judge addressed the new prospective jurors and asked them if they had any prior knowledge of the case.

On Monday, there were at least 46 possible jurors who said they had heard about it, while 15 out today’s 21 newcomers knew about the story already.

Individual questioning began at 9:43 a.m. and will continue throughout the day.


About Gustavo Martínez Contreras

was born in Texas, brewed in Mexico City, seasoned in the Mexico-United States border, aged walking the streets of Philadelphia. He had a short-lived stint eating grits, fried chicken, and peaches in Atlanta. He later became a béisbol writer for El Diario de Nueva York. He has written about immigrant communities in English, Spanish, and some Spanglish. Although he does not have a shelf full of awards, Gustavo has received thank you notes and hugs from people who have trusted him with their stories. His work has appeared in Voices of New York, El Diario/La Prensa, Dallas’ Al Día, The Philadelphia Public School Notebook, Philadelphia Weekly, Radio Bilingüe, Latina Lista,, among others. He is currently pursuing a master's degree at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
This entry was posted in Hate crime, Immigration, Luis Ramírez, Shenandoah. Bookmark the permalink.

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