Man acquitted in officer's shooting to be sentenced on misdemeanor counts
A New Florence man who was acquitted of fatally shooting a St. Clair Township police officer will learn Wednesday afternoon whether he will spend any more time in jail on two misdemeanor charges.
Ray A. Shetler Jr., 33, is scheduled for sentencing at 1:30 p.m. on charges of theft and receiving stolen property. The hearing will be held at the Westmoreland County courthouse before Judge Meagan Bilik-DeFazio.
He faces up to seven years on the theft charge.
Shetler was acquitted in February of first- and third-degree murder in connection with the death of Officer Lloyd Reed, 54, of Somerset County, who was shot and killed as he responded in uniform to a domestic violence call from Shetler's girlfriend at their New Florence home. Jurors deliberated for 20 hours over two days after listening to six days of testimony.
Shetler has been behind bars since Reed's death on Nov. 28, 2015.
He originally was ineligible for bail, but after his acquittal, Bilik-DeFazio set his bond at $100,000.
The jury also acquitted Shetler of simple assault and harassment charges that stemmed from allegations he hit his girlfriend, Kristen Luther, with the brim of a baseball cap — the incident that prompted her to call police to the home they shared.
Shetler faced a potential death sentence if he was convicted of first-degree murder. He claimed he acted in self defense and Reed was the first to open fire. Shetler was shot in the shoulder.
The theft and receiving stolen property charges stem from crimes related to a truck he stole at the Conemaugh Generating Plant in the hours after the shooting. Police arrested Shetler after a six-hour manhunt.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-837-5374, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @byrenatta.