Monday, April 27, 2009

Breaking News

By Jay Levan, News Director

Opening arguments in the trial of two Shenandoah teenagers gave light to accusations about who really was involved and who allegedly landed the fatal blow that killed Luis Ramurez in July, 2008.About 60 people were in attendance in a warm courtroom number 1. Following instructions by President Judge William Baldwin, Assistant DA Rob Frantz presented the jury with a picture of what the prosecution believe happened the evening of July 12th at Vine and West Lloyd Street. Frantz attempted to paint Brandon Piekarsky and Derek Donchak as key players in the beating and subsequent death of Ramirez. Several other teens, Ben Lawson, Colin Walsh, Brian Scully and Josh Redmond were also present that night and had some involvement and both the prosecution and defense intend to lay out what their roles were.After 20 minutes, Piekarsky's attorney Fred Fanelli told the jury that Luis Ramirez was the aggressor that night while he was meeting with 15 year old Roxanne Rector, his alleged girlfriend and half sister of Crystal Dillman, the mother of Ramirez's children. Both prosecution and defense indicated that Rector was the girlfriend. Fanelli also uncovered what federal charges Colin Walsh is facing in return for probable testimony against others involved. A 5.k.1 statute states that Walsh violated Ramirez's civil rights under the Fair Housing Act in return for cooperating with federal investigators, where the prosecutor assesses the level of cooperation with a sentence. Donchak's attorney Jeffrey Markosky added additional comments about his clients case.Two state police troopers testified to open the prosecution's case dealing with scene reconstruction and photographs.Outside three people were found to be protesting along with an attorney from the ACLU.Crystal Dillman was accompanied to court by attorneys from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund.Court resumed at 1pm.


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