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Valley News Dispatch

Accused New Kensington cop killer's lawyers soon will get prosecution's 'voluminous' evidence

Rich Cholodofsky
| Monday, May 21, 2018, 12:01 p.m.
Homicide suspect Rahmael Sal Holt is escorted from District Judge Frank J. Pallone Jr.’s office in New Kensington after his preliminary hearing on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017. Holt is accused of fatally shooting New Kensington police Officer Brian Shaw.
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Homicide suspect Rahmael Sal Holt is escorted from District Judge Frank J. Pallone Jr.’s office in New Kensington after his preliminary hearing on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017. Holt is accused of fatally shooting New Kensington police Officer Brian Shaw.

Lawyers for the man facing a potential death penalty for allegedly killing a New Kensington police officer said Monday they continue to look for evidence to support their client's claim that he didn't fire the fatal shots.

Defense attorneys Tim Dawson and Jim Robinson said they will cull through videos from the police as well as security footage from shops and homes around the Leishman Avenue location where Officer Brian Shaw was shot and killed on Nov. 17.

“He claims he wasn't the shooter, so we're looking to see what evidence the prosecution has,” Dawson said.

Rahmael Sol Holt, 29, of Harrison, is charged with first-degree murder in connection with Shaw's killing.

Holt was arrested in Pittsburgh days following the shooting as police searched for his whereabouts after witnesses identified him as the shooter.

The prosecution plans to seek the death penalty in the case.

Shaw was gunned down after he stopped a vehicle in which Holt was a passenger. The shooting occurred after Holt attempted to flee the scene, police said.

Assistant District Attorney Jim Lazar said Monday that the prosecution has numerous videos in evidence. He declined to say how many and whether Shaw's shooting was recorded by police or other security cameras in the area.

Holt appeared Monday before Westmoreland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rita Hathaway as attorneys in the case discussed the transfer of evidence collected in the case so far.

Lazar said that evidence was “voluminous” and that the prosecution would soon turn over videos and other items found linking Holt to the murder to his lawyers.

Hathaway said she expects that process to end by August, when another status conference is scheduled.

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