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Westmoreland

Shetler jury to visit New Florence site of cop's killing

Rich Cholodofsky
| Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, 5:36 p.m.

Jurors in the capital murder trial of the man accused of gunning down St. Clair police officer Lloyd Reed will travel Friday morning to the scene of the fatal gun battle in New Florence.

Westmoreland County Common Pleas Judge Meagan Bilik-DeFazio last week approved the prosecution's plan to transport the jury to view in person the scene outside of 131 Ligonier Street where Ray A. Shetler Jr. is accused of the fatal shooting of Reed on Nov. 28, 2015.

Reed, 54, was hit with one shot in the chest as he responded to a domestic violence call from Shetler's girlfriend.

The trial, in which District Attorney John Peck said he will seek the death penalty against Shetler, 33, of New Florence, started Thursday as jurors heard testimony about the moments leading up to the gun fight as well as Reed's own words as he approached the scene.

The jury will be bused from the courthouse and travel about 33 miles to New Florence, where at least two stops are planned.

Jurors will be shown the area in front of the Ligonier Street house where the shooting occurred and on grounds across the Conemaugh River, where Shetler is suspected to have fled after the gun battle.

The prosecution claims Shetler discarded the suspected murder weapon in brush along the river bank at the Conemaugh Generating Plant.

The trip is expected to take about three hours, Bilik-DeFazio said.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

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