• Man accused of killing police officer appears in court for final time before trial

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    GREENSBURG, Pa. - Accused cop-killer Rahmael Holt was back in court for the last time Wednesday before his capital murder trial begins in two weeks. 

    >>PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Lawyers for man charged in local officer's death claim he wasn't shooter

    Holt is charged in the death of Officer Brian Shaw, who was shot and killed during a traffic stop in November 2017.

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    Investigators said Holt shot at Shaw when he tried to pull over a vehicle in which he was riding – killing him. Holt was arrested in Pittsburgh after a massive manhunt. 

    Nearly two years later, prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Holt. 


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    Channel 11’s Melanie Marsalko was inside the courtroom as prosecutors and the defense made final arguments on motions ahead of trial.

    A jury will be selected next week, and there are still questions left to answer during the trial.

    “We streamlined the evidence for the trial. There’s a lot of issues in this trial, (but) we want to make sure our client gets a fair trial based on the evidence in this case,” said Tim Dawson, Holt’s attorney.


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    Investigators never found a murder weapon, but they plan on introducing evidence that Holt was known to carry a gun – relying on pictures from Facebook and witness testimony.

    While the judge is allowing that evidence, she said the commonwealth cannot bring up accusations during trial that Holt was allegedly dealing drugs regularly, including the night of the shooting.

    “Motive is an important element of any murder case. What they feel is motive, we strongly disagree with,” Dawson said. “And the judge will have to decide that and she did reserve some decisions for trial.”


     

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