A man acquitted in the shooting death of a western Pennsylvania police officer eight years ago has been convicted of assaulting a deputy sheriff as law enforcement officers were trying to serve an arrest warrant nearly two years ago.
Jurors in Westmoreland County deliberated for more than three hours before convicting Ray Shetler Jr., 39, of New Florence of aggravated assault, attempted disarming of a law enforcement official and resisting arrest in the violent confrontation in St. Clair Township in December 2021. He was acquitted of another count of aggravated assault.
Shetler was on probation on theft-related convictions in 2018 when he failed a drug test and did not appear at a probation hearing, after which an arrest warrant was issued. State troopers and county sheriff’s deputies found him hiding in a friend’s trailer and a violent confrontation ensued in which officers testified Shetler aggressively resisted arrest.
Shetler said he was beaten by multiple officers and a stun device caused permanent eye damage. Defense attorney Michael Garofalo ended his closing argument by showing a picture of Shetler’s bloodied face and saying, “No one should look like that after failing to appear for court.”
Garofalo declined comment after the verdict.
In 2018, Shetler was acquitted of first- and third-degree murder charges in the November 2015 shooting death of 54-year-old police officer Lloyd Reed, who had responded to a domestic violence call at Shetler’s home. Witnesses testified Reed ordered Shetler to drop a rifle and then opened fire and Shetler fired back, killing him. Shetler testified he did not know Reed was a police officer and acted in self-defense. He was convicted of theft and stolen property counts.