GREENSBURG (KDKA) – After nine hours of deliberations, the jury in the Ray Shetler Jr. capital murder trial in Westmoreland County called it quits for the night. The jury will resume their deliberations Friday morning.
Ray Shetler Jr., 33, is on trial at the Greensburg County Courthouse in the Nov. 28, 2015, murder of Officer Lloyd Reed.
Jurors quit for the night after deliberating 9 hrs in the Ray Shetler Jr murder trial. Will resume deliberations in the morning pic.twitter.com/bAdSKOrGbL
— Ralph Iannotti (@IannottiRalph) February 16, 2018
Officer Reed lost his life as he responded to a domestic dispute at Shetler’s home in New Florence.
Shetler told the jury Wednesday he didn’t know he was firing at a police officer.
Defense Attorney Marc Daffner addressed the six men and six women on the jury, saying that Shetler was confused about who he was confronting and frightened the night he fatally shot Officer Lloyd Reed.
“Was Ray Shetler justified? Justification supersedes any degree of murder,” Daffner said. “Whether he knew if he was a police officer is simply not relevant. He’s not being charged with shooting a police officer.”
KDKA’s Ross Guidotti Reports:
Daffner pointed out his client, who could face the death penalty if convicted of first degree murder, felt remorse after learning he had killed a police officer, and the evidence doesn’t prove intent nor premeditation.
“It’s certainly tragic, but not proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” Daffner said.
When District Attorney John Peck began his summation, he reminded the jury what Shetler said on the stand.
“The defendant admitted on the stand to trying to kill Officer Reed. I ask you to draw a reasonable common sense conclusion that the person holding that .260 rifle was holding it at the shoulder and aimed,” Peck said. “The defendant’s claim that he was firing wildly from the hip… The evidence doesn’t show that.”
Peck drilled home what he described as Shetler’s lack of remorse, saying after he shot Reed, “[Shetler] stood there as Officer Reed was dying, gasping for breath. Did he offer help? Did he call an ambulance? No. He ran.”
The jury will resume their deliberations on Friday at 9 a.m.