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National Briefing / PENNSYLVANIA

Teens to be tried in migrant's death

August 19, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

Three teens were ordered to stand trial in the beating death of an illegal immigrant from Mexico after a friend of the defendants testified that the victim was sucker-punched and kicked in the head during a late-night, epithet-filled melee.

Luis Ramirez's death last month has increased racial tensions in the town of Shenandoah, about 80 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

District Judge Anthony Kilker ruled that prosecutors had enough evidence to try Colin Walsh, 17, and Brandon Piekarsky, 16, on counts of third-degree murder and ethnic intimidation.

He threw out first- and second-degree murder charges against the pair, which means they no longer face the possibility of life sentences if convicted.

A third defendant, Derrick Donchak, 18, was ordered to stand trial on aggravated assault, ethnic intimidation and other counts.

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