Westmoreland judge calls father of accused cop killer ‘danger to the community’ | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

Westmoreland judge calls father of accused cop killer ‘danger to the community’

Rich Cholodofsky
Gregory Baucum

A Westmoreland County judge ruled Thursday that the father of accused cop killer Rahmael Sal Holt will remain in jail on $100,000 bond until after his son’s capital murder trial next month.

Gregory Baucum Jr., 48, of Pittsburgh has been in jail since March after he was arrested and charged in connection with what police said were attempts to intimidate witnesses expected to testify against his son.

Holt is accused of shooting and killing New Kensington police Officer Brian Shaw in November 2017.

Defense attorney Emily Smarto said that because Baucum has been in jail for the past six months he is entitled to be released on nominal bond under the state’s speedy trial rules.

Westmoreland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rita Hathaway rejected Smarto’s request.

“I think he is a danger to the community,” Hathaway said. “I cannot risk having witnesses intimidated in that case (against Holt) by Mr. Baucum.”

Police contend Baucum obtained a copy of a statement from a witnesses against Holt and posted a picture of that document on his Facebook page with a threat.

Detective Ray Dupilka testified Thursday that Baucum also attempted to find information about other witnesses expected to testify against Holt.

Holt’s trial is scheduled to begin with jury selection Oct. 28; testimony is slated to start Nov. 4.

Assistant District Attorney Anthony Iannamorelli said Baucum has a record of convictions that date back to 1989, including for burglary, theft, receiving stolen property, aggravated and simple assault and other offenses in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Minnesota.

Baucum, following a jury trial last summer, was acquitted of strangulation and witness intimidation against a woman who police said gave them information about Holt’s whereabouts following Shaw’s murder. Holt was eventually arrested and charged with first-degree murder after a four-day manhunt that followed the fatal shooting.

Baucum is being held in jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond. His trial in the pending witness intimidation case is scheduled to begin Dec. 2. Hathaway said Baucum can refile his request for a lowered bond after Holt’s trial is completed next month.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.