Jurors tour New Florence scene of 2015 police officer killing
Jurors in the Ray Shetler Jr. capital murder trial made the nearly 70-mile round trip Friday to New Florence to view the scene where a St. Clair police officer was gunned down during a gun battle two years ago.
The jury toured the front and side area outside the two-story brick home on Ligonier Street where Westmoreland County prosecutors contend Shetler, 33, shot and killed Lloyd Reed as he responded to a domestic violence call on Nov. 28, 2015.
Security was tight as a bus carrying the jury stopped on the tree-lined residential street in the small borough along the Conemaugh River. The road leading up the alleged murder scene was cordoned off and patrolled by local police and sheriff deputies.
Shetler, wearing a leather coat and handcuffs with his legs shackled, stood nearby by as a state police investigator showed jurors where Reed was felled during the gun fight and locations where his gun and other equipment came to rest in front of the house. Jurors also saw several locations were shell casing were found following the shooting.
Jurors were at the scene for about 15 minutes before boarding the bus to return to Greensburg, where more testimony was scheduled in the afternoon.
The prosecution contends Shetler fired three shots from a rifle, hitting Reed once in the chest before fleeing by swimming across the Conemaugh River, where he discarded the suspected murder weapon in brush near the water. Reed fired six shots in the fire fight, according to police.
Initially, jurors were expected to tour the area of the Conemaugh Generating Plant, where police said Shetler walked after emerging from the river. That portion of the site visit was canceled Friday morning by Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas Judge Meagan Bilik DeFazio.