Trials delayed for 2 accused of helping man charged in Brian Shaw’s death
Trials for the father and a cousin of the Harrison man accused in the fatal shooting death two years ago of New Kensington police Officer Brian Shaw were postponed until December.
Westmoreland County prosecutors said Tuesday a scheduling conflict made it impossible to try the case against Gregory Baucum Jr. in October. Baucum, 48, of Pittsburgh, is in jail as he awaits trial on charges of intimidation and retaliation against a witness in his son’s pending case.
Baucum’s son, Rahmael Sal Holt, 31, is scheduled to go before a Westmoreland County jury in November on a first-degree murder charge in connection with the Nov. 17, 2017, shooting of Shaw following a traffic stop in New Kensington. Prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty against Holt if he is convicted.
Baucum was charged in March with sending what police claim were threatening text messages through Facebook to a key witnesses in his son’s case.
Police said in a criminal complaint that Baucum took a photo of the statement made to police by the witness against Holt, sent it to her, posted it on his personal Facebook page and uploaded it to a closed Facebook group. Investigators said Baucum called the witness a “cheese-eater snitch.”
Baucum last year was acquitted by a Westmoreland County jury in a separate case where he was charged with witness intimidation related to Holt’s prosecution.
In that case, prosecutors contended Baucum assaulted his then girlfriend after learning she cooperated with police during the manhunt for Holt by telling them of his 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.
Also Tuesday, the trial of Lisa Danea Harrington also was delayed until December. Harrington, 33, of New Kensington is free on a $75,000 bond as she awaits trial on three felony counts of hindering the apprehension of Holt. Police contend Harrington lied to police when she claimed she did not know Holt’s whereabouts after the shooting.
Harrington’s defense lawyer, Adam Gorzelsky, said he needed more time to prepare for the upcoming trial.
Jury selection in Holt’s trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 28 with testimony to start on Nov. 4 before Westmoreland County Judge Rita Hathaway.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, [email protected] or via Twitter .