Father of man charged with killing New Kensington cop sues prison over medical care
The father of the man accused of killing a New Kensington police officer is suing four Westmoreland County Prison officials, claiming they denied him needed medical care while he was incarcerated.
Gregory Baucum Jr., in the lawsuit filed this week without the assistance of a lawyer, contends he was repeatedly refused treatment and medication for an injured eye that he had surgery on prior to his most recent arrest.
“I would have to be literally almost dead to receive treatment from medical staff here,” Baucum wrote.
Warden John Walton, named as a defendant in the suit along with three other administrators at the jail, denied the allegations.
“Our medical department meets the needs of our inmates. Some inmates may not agree, but there is no basis for these allegations,” Walton said.
Baucum, 48, of Pittsburgh, was jailed in March after police charged him with attempting to intimidate a prosecution witness in his son’s case.
Police claim 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, uploaded it to a closed Facebook group and referred to her as a “cheese-eater snitch,” according to court records.
Baucum’s son is Rahmael Sal Holt, who is awaiting trial in November on charges that he shot and killed New Kensington police officer Brian Shaw following a traffic stop on Nov. 17, 2017. Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty if Holt is convicted of first-degree murder.
A Westmoreland County jury last year acquitted Baucum of witness intimidation-related similar charges. In that case, prosecutors said Baucum attacked his then girlfriend after he learned she had told police about Holt’s whereabouts in the days immediately following Shaw’s shooting.
Baucum’s trial on the current charges is scheduled for October. As part of a court order setting the October trial date, Common Pleas Court Judge Rita Hathaway said jail officials must “make sure that the (defendant) receives his prescribed eye drops.”
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, [email protected] or via Twitter .