Judge gives death sentence to man convicted of killing New Kensington officer

Man convicted of killing Officer Brian Shaw sentenced to death by a judge

GREENSBURG, Pa. — The man convicted of killing New Kensington police Officer Brian Shaw was officially sentenced to death Wednesday.

Rahmael Holt was found guilty in November and the jury unanimously decided to sentence him to death. The official sentence was handed down by a judge.

GF Default - Jury selection underway for man accused in death of Officer Brian Shaw
GF Default - Jury selection underway for man accused in death of Officer Brian Shaw
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Holt was convicted of shooting and killing Shaw while running from a traffic stop in November 2017.

Holt is being taken to the State Correctional Institution at Rockview. That is where the judge has ordered his death by lethal injection.

He becomes the 133rd inmate to be placed on death row, but no one has been executed in Pennsylvania since 1999.

Holt didn’t have anything to say Wednesday, and neither side presented any witnesses before the judge announced her sentencing decision.

The judge said she doesn’t understand how Holt got to this point. She said aside from having an absent father, Holt grew up in a loving home before starting down a criminal path at 16 years old when he was caught with a gun.

When talking about Shaw, the judge said being a police officer was his dream -- something Holt took away from him after only six months on the job.

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Defense attorneys said while Wednesday’s sentencing was procedural and expected, they will appeal.

“So, what we’ll do from here, within 10 days we’ll read the trial transcript, filing the appropriate post sentence motions. From there, the case will go to the Supreme Court, where they will look at all the issues in the case we’ve raised, in addition to automatically looking at sufficiency of evidence,” defense attorney Tim Dawson said.


A jury has found accused cop killer Rahmael Holt guilty of shooting and killing New Kensington Police Officer Brian Shaw. Holt was found guilty of first degree murder, first degree murder of a law enforcement officer and two firearms violations. He could face a death penalty after being found guilty. https://bit.ly/2KdDxgH Subscribe to WPXI: https://on.wpxi.com/YouTube Connect with WPXI online: https://www.wpxi.com/ Download our FREE apps: https://wpxiapps.com/