GREENSBURG (KDKA) — A judge has formally sentenced Rahmael Holt to death in the killing of New Kensington Police Officer Brian Shaw.
A jury unanimously decided to give Holt the death penalty in November.READ MORE: Report: Drug Executive Emails Mocked Appalachians
Officer Shaw was shot and killed during a traffic stop in 2017.
During the sentencing hearing, Holt made no statements. But Judge Rita Hathaway told him that his father may have left when he he was young, but he was raised by a mother and other relatives in a “decent, loving home.”
She added, “You went bad at 17, turning to crime, assaulting a police officer.”
Of the night Officer Shaw was murder, Judge Hathaway said, “All you had to do was just sit in the vehicle. Officer Shaw may have just given you a citation for running a stop sign, and even if he would have searched the car for a gun, you more than likely would have only spent five years in jail. Instead, you chose a different path.”
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Holt’s attorney says appeals are likely going to happen.
“There’s a moratorium, of course, that can change with a change in politics,” Tim Dawson, defense attorney said. “Any governor, I believe, can change that moratorium. The main thing is the is the automatic appeal, and I think that has him with some glimmer of hope that he feels he didn’t get a fair trial.
The jury delivered a guilty verdict on all four counts, finding Holt guilty of First-Degree Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer.
The verdict was delivered on Nov. 12.
Officer Shaw’s family was in the courtroom for the formal sentencing.MORE NEWS: Allegheny Co. Police Investigating McKeesport Shooting, Man In Critical Condition
Holt said nothing as he left the courthouse.