GREENSBURG (KDKA) – Two women accused of hindering the arrest of suspected cop-killer Rahmael Sal Holt appeared in court Thursday morning.
According to police, 40-year-old Lakita Cain and her daughter, 19-year-old Taylor Mitchell, were in a bedroom of a home along Victoria Avenue in New Kensington, when they heard gunshots. Moments later, Holt entered the house. Cain said Holt indicated he had to leave the area.
Holt is accused of shooting and killing New Kensington Police Officer Brian Shaw.
Court documents allege Cain called Holt’s cousin Lisa Harrington, asking her to come pick Holt up. Law enforcement also claims Harrington showed up at the Victoria Avenue home the morning after Shaw’s death to retrieve a brown paper bag from the home’s basement. Harrington allegedly told Cain the gun used to kill Officer Shaw was in the paper bag.
Police believe Cain and Mitchell, who heard the shooting, willingly hid Holt for a time.
“[Cain] claims she did not know Mr. Holt by his name, but she knew him only by his street names,” Valerie Veltri, Cain’s defense attorney, said.
According to police, Cain and Mitchell lied about seeing Holt the night of the incident.
“I do know it looks like there was some confusion about who, what, when, where and how,” Veltri said. “I think that will be sorted out down the road.”
Both Cain and Mitchell appeared in court for a preliminary hearing, where their charges were waived to trial.
Meanwhile, Holt appeared before a judge on Wednesday, where he was also held for trial.
During his preliminary hearing, Holt did not say a word and stared forward the entire time. Afterward, his attorney, Justin Ketchel said, “My client didn’t do this. They don’t have any information at all whatsoever except from a convicted felon who admitted on the stand that he is a liar.”
Tavon Harper, the man that police say was driving the SUV that Officer Shaw pulled over, testified against Holt as a prosecution witness.
“The defendant was in the vehicle operated by Tavon Harper and got out of the vehicle,” said John Peck, Westmoreland County District Attorney. “And the video surveillance that’s been testified to shows him. It’s in a darkened area, but you can see that someone is firing a gun and someone sustained injuries as a result of it.”
Holt is being held in the Westmoreland County Jail without bond and is charged with homicide of a police officer.