GREENSBURG (KDKA) – Jury selection is underway at the death penalty murder trial of a man accused of killing a Saint Clair Township police officer.
Police say Ray Shetler Jr. shot and killed New Florence Officer Lloyd Reed in November of 2015. Officer Reed was responding to a domestic dispute at the home of Shetler’s girlfriend.
Fifty individuals were summoned, but only 12 will be selected as jurors, and four as alternates.
Once the jury is chosen, they will visit the home where Officer Reed was killed along with the power plant where police found Shetler.
Shetler’s girlfriend, Kristen Luther, is heard saying in her call to 911 the night incident happened that she had been assaulted.
Luther: “Hi. I need the state police here.”
Dispatcher: “Ma’am, what’s going on?”
Luther: “My boyfriend just assaulted me.”
Shetler: “(Unintelligible). She assaulted me, too.”
Shetler admitted to opening fire on Officer Reed outside of Luther’s home, saying he didn’t realize he was shooting at a police officer.
But prosecutors say Officer Reed was in uniform and identified himself as such.
Luther: “Oh my God.”
Dispatcher: “I can’t hear her; she’s screaming. That’s all I got.”
Luther: “Please sent an ambulance. The officer’s shot. Oh my God.”
Each juror called in Monday was asked to fill out a four-page questionnaire, asking things like:
- What are your feelings on firearms ownership?
- Do you find the killing of an officer so offensive that you couldn’t be an impartial juror?
Jury selection is expected to continue for a couple of days. The trial is expected to begin by midweek.
The prosecution is expected to call 50 witnesses.
District Attorney John Peck argued although jurors will see photographs of the murder scene and video surveillance from the power plant, the visits are necessary to demonstrate the lengths Shetler allegedly went through to hide and conceal the crime.
If Shetler is convicted, Peck plans to pursue the death penalty.