Jury Deliberations Begin Today in Shen Murder Trial

After a day of testimony where District Attorney James Goodman saw two police officers and one of the victim’s friends testify that Brandon Piekarsky was NOT the person who fatally kicked Luis Ramirez in the head, his battered prosecution team will look to recover during closing arguments today. The “trial of the decade” has not gone according to plan for Schuylkill County’s top law enforcement official. It was all supposed to be a slam dunk, but after days of contradictory testimony from Goodman’s own witnesses and the stirring revelations that eyewitnesses identified Brian Scully as the kicker from the police who arrived on the scene first, some trial watchers believe that an acquittal on the murder and manslaughter counts is completely feasible.

West Mahanoy Township police officer Robert Senape and Frackville police officer Michelle Ashman both testified yesterday that eyewitness Arielle Garcia clearly identified Brian Scully, charged as a juvenile in this case and who testified for the prosecution earlier this week, as the teen who kicked Ramirez in the head as he lay unconscious on the street. Mysteriously, that fact never ended up in any official investigation report. Chief Schuylkill County Detective Anthony Carroll claimed that he was never told about Garcia’s Scully identification, but Senape did have a face to face meeting with both Carroll and DA Goodman later on. However, the context of that meeting was excluded from evidence by President Judge William Baldwin.

Hmmmm, something just doesn’t seem right about this.

Although he was the chief investigator on this case, prosecutors did not call Carroll as a witness, but lead defense counsel Fred Fanelli sure did. He thundered away on Carroll asking him why he did not further investigate “the shoe question”, which refers to earlier  testimony from a Ramirez friend that said the person who kicked Ramirez was wearing white and blue shoes. Piekarsky was wearing blue and gray shoes that night, but Scully was wearing white and blue ones.

These revelations further highlight what has become a continuing trend for the prosecution: witnesses who have contradicted themselves and the prosecution’s theory of the case on the witness stand.

First, on Day 1, the neighbor who first heard the fight and called 911 testified differently than what she said on the 911 tape, which was played for the jury. Then, on Day 2, Colin Walsh and Brian Scully, two teens who were key participants in the fatal melee (Scully was the first to approach and punch Ramirez, while Walsh landed the sucker punch that floored Ramirez) were skewered on cross-examination by Fanelli due to their changing their stories multiple times over the course of the case.

For weeks, Scully denied even being at the scene. Later he admitted his involvement, but said that there wasn’t a kick. It was only after he made a deal with Goodman to be charged only as a juvenile that Scully said Piekarsky landed the final kick. It is the defense’s contention that Scully is the person who kicked Ramirez in the head.

Walsh, the prosecution’s star witness and recipient of a sweetheart deal in exchange for his testimony, couldn’t seem to get his story straight either. He gave three different statements to police, all of which contradicted his testimony on Tuesday. Walsh punched Ramirez in the side of the head when he wasn’t looking, which led to Ramirez falling to ground and hitting his head off the street. He was originally charged with murder, manslaughter, assault, and ethnic intimidation (the same as Piekarsky and Donchak), but they were all dropped by Goodman after Walsh plead guilty to a Fair Housing Act violation in federal court and agreed to testify against   his two best friends.

All of this points to lead prosecutor Robert Frantz needing a stellar closing argument today, if this case is to be saved at all.

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2 Comments

Filed under Local News, National

2 responses to “Jury Deliberations Begin Today in Shen Murder Trial

  1. Thesaurusmaximus

    The world who is watching our Bigots R Us voting pool who demands the world (who resists, go figure!) to emulate them…. knew justice does not exist in that environ. In Christian nation, eye-for-an-eye is just election propaganda.

    PA’s ‘Murk-istanicals make no secret of their long history of KKK’s intellectual constipation embedded into their heirs….justice for melanin enhanced humanity? Bosh!

    My last (gag inducing) reunion to good ol’ rural PA region didn’t introduce me to any enlightened local denizens who are clueless to the fact they live on a shared planet orbiting a gaseous star.

    Thanks to a distant relative dragging her boyfriend’s family to gawk at returning self-exiled relatives….whom were surrounded by suspicious one-toothed heirs of the KKK’s embedded role models with a few amusing anecdotes if one can stomach being bemused at such shameful “real” Americans existing at all.

    Those melanin deprived – intellectually (and spiritually) constipated minions – entire retinue of conversations were replete with nuke ’em, endless plots against melanin enhanced humanity…and…SERIOUSLY – endless hero worship of Captain Picard whilst cheering on every new stain on their wife-beater tee’s …asking amongst themselves if “it resembled JEEzus” …whom, to them… was a blond, blue-eyed Scandinavian…not a Middle Eastern born Jew.

    After days of endless “what would Captain Picard do” blubbering of theirs…at one point – risking my life under the paranoid watchful eyes of these gun totin’ “real ‘Murkins” – I finally dared to released my inner snark… and told the BO self sniffing crowd ….as to how impressed I was with their emulations of and honoring for…. such a gay as pink ink actor that is Captain Picard, Patrick Steward.

    The silence was deafening until someone broke the silence with another pointedly ignorant call for nuke em rants enhanced with their classy eloquent belches.

    All in all, none of us returning (shamed) to PA were rewarded by an intelligent conversation nor bothered to inform them it is they and they alone who risk our nation with terrorism, motivate others willing to die, be called (incorrectly) insurgents in order to avoid becoming “one with them thar’ good old boys” in Murk-istan.

  2. je

    curious to know what you think happened…

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