Shenandoah Hate Crime Trial Day 5: “They didn’t like Hispanics”

The two Shenandoah, Pa., men charged with a federal hate crime stemming from the beating death of an undocumented Mexican immigrant, often referred to Hispanics with racial slurs, according to testimony from one key witness in the trial.

Testimony today shed light into Derrick Donchak's dislike for Hispanics.

Today at the James A. Nealon US Courthouse in Scranton, Colin Walsh told the jury that Derrick Donchak had a deep animosity toward that ethnic group.

“Yes, he didn’t like Hispanics; he really didn’t like them,” he said. “He called them fucking Mexicans, fucking spics.”

Mr. Walsh, 19, also said that Mr. Donchak would listen to racist music, and specifically sing to the song “White Man Marches On” while driving around with friends.

The song is taken from the soundtrack for the movie American History X.

In his account of the attack, Mr. Walsh said that both Mr. Donchak and Brandon Piekarsky yelled racial slurs toward Luis Eduardo Ramírez Zavala.

“Derrick punch him in the face and called him ‘spic’,” he said.

According to him, Mr. Piekarsky also used racist terms when yelling at Mr. Ramírez Zavala.

Brandon Piekarsky used racial slurs during the attack, according to testimony.

“He was yelling at him, ‘fucking Mexican’,” he said. “Later I heard him yell ‘Tell your fucking Mexican friends to leave Shenandoah or you’ll be fucking lying next to them’ as we were leaving.”

In April of last year, Mr. Walsh pleaded guilty in federal court to violating Mr. Ramirez Zavala’s Fair Housing Rights, admitting that his actions prevented other Latinos from moving into the area.

Thanks to this, all state charges against him were dropped and he is waiting that his cooperation satisfies the government to get a reduction of the four to nine years he faces behind bars.

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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, Spot.us, 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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