Rahmael Holt, Pennsylvania
Updated: Monday, April 3, 2023
Pennsylvania scheduled Rahmael Holt to be executed on Monday, April 3, 2023. Executions in Pennsylvania are carried out at the State Correctional Institute in Rockview. Rahmael’s execution has been stayed by the US District Court for Western Pennsylvania to allow time for additional appeals. Thirty-four-year-old Rahmael is convicted of murdering New Kensington Patrolman Brian Shaw on November 17, 2017, in New Kensington, Pennsylvania. For the last three years, Rahmael has been on Pennsylvania’s death row.
Rahmael Holt lacked parental guidance while growing up. He lived in an area that was known for high crime. Additionally, Rahmael’s brother died a violent death.
On November 17, 2017, Rahmael Holt made contact with Tavon Harper, a recent parolee. Harper agreed to sell Holt some cocaine. After making the purchase, Holt asked if Harper had any marijuana. Harper agreed to get some. Later that day, Holt and Harper met up again. After buying the marijuana, Holt asked for a ride to a nearby convenience store and Harper agreed.
While driving away from the store, Harper saw and heard police sirens and planned to pull over at his house which was nearby. At 8:06 pm local time, Officer Brian Shaw informed dispatch of a vehicle that had failed to stop for his lights and sirens. As Officer Shaw pursued the vehicle, Holt pulled a gun and asked Harper to hide it. Harper refused because it would violate his parole and he did not want to go back to prison. Harper then told Holt to get out and run.
A short time after his first radio, Officer Shaw informed dispatch that he was pursuing the suspect on foot. Holt had jumped out of Harper’s vehicle, still holding his gun. Harper saw the police officer begin chasing Holt. Harper returned to his house.
Officer James Noble was responding to Officer Shaw’s report of a fleeing suspect. Upon arriving at the given location, Officer Noble heard several gunshots. He was quickly able to locate Officer Shaw, who had been shot. Officer Shaw’s weapon was still securely holstered. Officer Shaw died from his injuries.
Police were quickly able to locate Harper using the license plate information reported by Officer Shaw. At first, Harper lied to the police. Harper was eventually arrested when police connected his cell phone to one believed to belong to Officer Shaw’s killer. After his arrest, Harper confessed that Holt was the second person in his vehicle that night.
Holt was arrested on November 21, 2017. He was sentenced to death in 2020. In February 2023, Holt was given an execution date of April 3, 2023. His execution was stayed by the US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, as he has not yet completed his appeals.
Pray for the family of Officer Brian Shaw. Pray for strength for the family of Rahmael Holt. Please pray that if Rahmael is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason that evidence will be provided before his execution. Pray that Rahmael will come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
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