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Two Tracfones Found By Police Become Key Evidence In Rahmael Holt Trial

PITTSBURGH (KDKA)-- Today marks day five of a trial for a man accused of fatally shooting a New Kensington Police officer during a traffic stop in 2017.

DNA in the Jeep Cherokee Rahmael Holt is accused of being in before New Kensington Police Officer Brian Shaw was shot and killed, as well as the firearm allegedly used, were the main focuses of witness testimony in the first part of today's trial.

A forensic DNA scientist with the Pennsylvania State Police told the court she couldn't match Holt's DNA with what was found in the Jeep Cherokee he was allegedly in.

There was insufficient DNA found even though the seat cushion and door handle were swabbed.

However, swabs used on the steering wheel cover of the Jeep did find sufficient DNA there.

In fact, the DNA found was a mixture of three individuals, one being the DNA of Tavon Harper.

Then, a retired forensic firearms examiner with the state police explained to the jury how a semi-automatic pistol operates.

He went over multiple exhibits with envelopes containing discharged cartridge cases and bullets that penetrated Shaw, as well as bullet related evidence.

During testimony, the defense during cross-examination was trying to determine whether the gun used during the shooting was a 40 caliber pistol.

The witness told the defense quote: "In my opinion, that would be at best an educated guess..."

The end of today's trial was very emotional when the former new Kensington Chief James Klein testified.

He read Brian Shaw's oath of office from the day he was sworn in as a police officer in July of 2017.

Two TracFones then became a major key for the advancement of the trial.

(Photo Credit: Amy Wadas)

A few days after the shooting, a special agent with the FBI in Pittsburgh testified that a TracFone was found in between two couch cushions at a home on Ladies Way in Hazelwood.

tracfone couch
(Photo Credit: Amy Wadas)

A second TracFone was found at a home in the City of Duquesne.

Prosecutors say that the phone belonged to Holt's cousin, Marcel Mason.

Investigators matched a text conversation between both phones.

The prosecution said the texts in blue are from Mason, and alleging the texts from the other phone in white were written by Holt.

Mason says, "everybody is calling me saying expletive. They think you're here. I love you I gotcha back."

(Photo Credit: Amy Wadas)

The unknown number says, "go upstairs and get them pants I had and throw them away. My ID is in there. Get rid of that expletive and erase all of our text messages."

(Photo Credit: Amy Wadas)

Another theme of today was the examination of various cell phone numbers hitting off multiple cell phone towers.

"The testimony of the phones says where the phones are...doesn't show who's using the phone.," said defense attorney Tim Dawson.

Police have details on how they tracked Holt.

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