An all-white jury has acquitted two teenagers of all serious charges stemming from the fatal beating of an illegal Mexican immigrant last summer.
Brandon Piekarsky, 17, was acquitted of third-degree murder and ethnic intimidation, and Derrick Donchak, 19, was acquitted of aggravated assault and ethnic intimidation. Both were convicted of simple assault. The defendants hugged after the verdicts were read Friday, and friends and family members cheered, leading to a rebuke from the judge and sheriff’s deputies.
“There’s been a complete failure of justice,” said Gladys Limon of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, who attended the trial and informed Ramirez’s family in Mexico of the verdict. “It’s just outrageous.”