Defense Wants Judge To Toss First-Degree Charge In Cop Death

GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) – A defense attorney wants a judge to dismiss a first-degree murder charge against a western Pennsylvania man who fatally shot a police officer responding to a domestic dispute.

The attorney for 32-year-old Ray Shetler Jr. acknowledges Shetler fatally shot St. Clair Township Officer Lloyd Reed on Nov. 28. But attorney Marc Daffner argues the killing wasn’t malicious or premeditated, and therefore doesn’t warrant the death penalty Westmoreland County prosecutors are seeking for first-degree murder.

Daffner contends Shelter didn’t know Reed was an officer and fired in self-defense after the officer fired first.

But prosecutors contend Shetler knew who Reed was and why he responded that night because Shelter overheard his girlfriend calling 911 after Shetler became drunk and abusive.

A judge hasn’t scheduled a hearing on the request filed Tuesday.

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(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.  All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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