Father of accused New Kensington cop killer charged with threatening a witness
The estranged father of a man accused of killing New Kensington police Officer Brian Shaw in 2017 was arrested Thursday and accused of sending messages to a witness in his son’s case, authorities said.
Gregory Baucum, 48, is accused by police of contacting the witness Jan. 8 through Facebook.
“So u snitched on my son too, didn’t know that was u till I did my research,’” Baucum allegedly said in a message to the witness.
Baucum was taken into custody in Pittsburgh’s Homewood neighborhood and arraigned in New Kensington on felony charges of witness intimidation and retaliation against a witness. He was being held at Westmoreland County Prison on $100,000 bond.
His son, Rahmael Sal Holt, 30, of Harrison, is accused of fatally shooting Shaw on a New Kensington street after a Nov. 17, 2017, traffic stop. Holt is awaiting trial for first-degree homicide and could face the death penalty if convicted.
Police said in a criminal complaint that Baucum took a photo of the alleged victim’s February 2018 statement to police and sent it to her, posted it on his personal Facebook page and uploaded it to a closed Facebook group, according to county Detective Ray Dupilka. Baucum referred to the alleged victim as a “cheese-eater snitch,” police said.
Facebook records obtained through a search warrant show the account in question was registered to Baucum, police said. He also used Facebook’s search function to look for other witnesses in Holt’s case, police said.
Baucum told District Judge Frank J. Pallone Jr. that he intended to be represented by the public defender’s office.
He previously was acquitted of witness intimidation and other charges related to Holt’s arrest. A Westmoreland County jury deliberated a little more than an hour in June before finding him not guilty.
Prosecutors contended during trial that Baucum assaulted his girlfriend after learning she cooperated with police during the manhunt for Holt by telling them of Holt’s whereabouts in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. The victim told jurors Baucum put his hands around her neck and later pinched her nose closed and covered her mouth.
Police spent four days tracking Holt after Shaw’s death before arresting him in Pittsburgh’s Hazelwood neighborhood.
Baucum told jurors both incidents were an effort to entice the victim to have sex. He told reporters after the trial that the charges were a misunderstanding.
An April preliminary hearing is set on the latest charges.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter .