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Rahmael Holt Found Guilty In The Death Of Former New Kensington Police Officer Brian Shaw

GREENSBURG (KDKA) - A jury has found a man accused of fatally shooting a New Kensington police officer guilty on all counts.

A jury that deliberated for a little over an hour and 10 minutes found Holt guilty Tuesday on counts of first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer, first-degree murder, three counts of possessing a firearm by a person not allowed to possess a firearm and carrying a firearm without a license.

"Well we're disappointed, but we have to respect the decision of the jury. It was a quick verdict in my opinion," said Holt's defense attorney Timothy Dawson.

Today marks the sixth day in the death penalty trial of 31-year-old Rahmael Holt, who is charged in the death of Officer Brian Shaw in 2017.

Holt waived his right to testify and did not take the stand in his own defense. The defense also submitted five photos to show no cut on Holt's right hand. The prosecution's witnesses testified last week that Holt had a bleeding cut, allegedly from the kickback of firing his weapon.

In turn, the Westmoreland County District Attorney argued that there were a few days between the shooting and Holt's arrest.


Both sides then presented closing arguments. The defense told the jury to use commonsense, while the prosecution said they have a "mountain of evidence" to consider.

The judge handed the case over to the jury at 1:39 p.m.

Twelve jurors and four alternate jurors were selected to hear the case.

During the trial, according to KDKA's Meghan Schiller, male juror 11 was removed for not following the judge's instruction and was replaced during day one.

Prosecutors have said they intend to seek capital punishment if Holt is convicted of first-degree murder.

Jurors came back to ask a question during deliberation. Meghan Schiller reports they came back in the courtroom to see the home surveillance video of the shooting of Officer Shaw one more time.

When the verdict was read, Meghan Schiller says Officer Shaw's family and fellow law enforcement officers erupted into sobs.

Holt's attorney says he wanted to see the jury deliberate more, and while he thinks the decision was quick, he says the case was highly emotional and he won't judge the jury.

"I wish I could get into the minds of the jurors and determine how in a circumstantial case like this they could reach such a quick verdict. But we have to respect it, you have to give credit to the prosecution. I thought Attorney Peck did a fine job," Dawson said.

The jury will now decide if Holt joins death row.

"Because it's a capital murder case, so now we'll go on to the death penalty phase and the same jury will determine whether Rahmael Holt gets life or death," Dawson said.

That sentencing will begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Both sides are expected to put witnesses on the stand.

Stay with KDKA for the latest on the developing story.

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