In separate trial, witness claims suspect confessed to killing Officer Brian Shaw
The man accused of killing New Kensington police Officer Brian Shaw last November confessed to the shooting in a conversation with his mother while on the run, a woman testified Thursday.
Hours after Shaw was gunned down on a New Kensington street, the man suspected of pulling the trigger met with his mother and other relatives in Pittsburgh’s Homewood neighborhood and admitted to his involvement in the murder before he was told to leave, according to evidence presented during the assault and witness retaliation trial of Gregory Baucum.
Baucum, 47, formerly of Arnold, is the father of Rahmael Sol Holt, who is awaiting trial for first-degree murder in connection with Shaw’s death. Holt, 30, of Harrison, Allegheny County, could face the death penalty if convicted.
During the four-day manhunt for Holt after the shooting, police questioned Baucum’s girlfriend who testified she told investigators about the meeting between Holt and his mother. It was information she learned from Baucum, she told jurors.
“I didn’t want him to know I gave them that information,” Stacy Myers testified during the first day of Baucum’s trial.
Pennsylvania state police Trooper Todd Adamski said he questioned Myers in her kitchen while Baucum was interviewed separately by U.S. marshals a day after the shooting.
Myers spoke quietly, almost at a whisper, to keep Baucum from hearing what she told police, Adamski testified.
Police contend Baucum was later confronted by police with Myers’ statement after he initially denied any knowledge of his estranged son’s whereabouts after the shooting.
Myers told jurors she and Baucum fought after he learned about her cooperation even after she denied that she helped police by telling them about Holt’s meeting with his mother.
She testified that the morning after their first fight, she awoke with Baucum’s hands around her neck. The following morning, after they had sex, she said she woke when Baucum covered her mouth and pinched her nose closed.
“I thought then, maybe he really was trying to kill me,” Myers testified.
Baucum was originally charged with strangulation, two counts of witness intimidation, one charge of retaliation against a witness and simple assault. Prosecutors, before testimony in the trial started Thursday, dismissed charges of aggravated assault and harassment.
Defense attorney Jim Fox told jurors in his opening statement that there was no evidence of any bruises or other injuries to support Myers’ accusations.
Four police officers and Myers testified for the prosecution on Thursday.
Westmoreland County Det. Ray Dupilka told jurors about the investigation to identify Holt as Shaw’s shooter and the manhunt that followed, resulting in his arrest four days later in the Hazelwood section of Pittsburgh.
Dupilka said police found video from a home security camera that appears to show Shaw being shot. That video was not introduced as evidence in Baucum’s trial.
Fox said Thursday no decision has been made as to whether Baucum will testify when his trial resumes Friday before Westmoreland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rita Hathaway.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-830-6293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.