Opening statements slated in trial of officer’s death

GREENSBURG — Opening statements are slated Thursday in the trial of a man charged in the 2015 shooting death of a western Pennsylvania police officer.

The (Johnstown) Tribune-Democrat reported that 12 jurors and four alternates have been selected for the Westmoreland County trial of 33-year-old Ray Shetler Jr.

Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty if he is convicted of first-degree murder in the death of 54-year-old St. Clair Township officer Lloyd Reed Jr.

Reed was killed in an exchange of gunfire after responding to a November 2015 domestic disturbance call.

Jurors are to be taken to the shooting scene and locations the suspected murder weapon and clothes were found.

Defense attorney Mark Daffner has suggested that Shetler was defending himself and didn’t realize that Reed was a police officer.