By: Don Shaw email: don.shaw@pennsylvaniachronicle.com (570) 543-2961

PA Supreme Court refuses to hear case of 20 year old who shot at police

PA Supreme Court refuses to hear case of 20 year old who shot at police

Lancaster, PA

A Columbia man serving up to 62 years in prison for shooting at police will get no relief from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The state court recently decided it will not grant Marquell Rentas’ request for a review of his sentence. Rentas, 20, was sentenced to 30½ to 62 years for opening fire on police responding to a shots-fired call on Bethel Street in Columbia.

Rentas fired at a 27-year-old veteran officer, who was one of many officers on the block on July 29, 2016. The Pennsylvania Superior Court in February denied Rentas’ appeal which argued that a mandatory prison term involved in his sentence was unconstitutional. Rentas petitioned for the Supreme Court to hear that argument; the Supreme Court declined.

First Assistant District Attorney Travis S. Anderson, who won the conviction and represents the Commonwealth in post-conviction matters, presented evidence at trial that Rentas shot at the veteran officer using a high-powered rifle from a hiding place in the Mount Bethel Cemetery, near where Rentas was staying. As he was arrested, Rentas admitted to firing at police, Anderson presented at trial.

Rentas later told a detective, “I hate (expletive) cops.” At sentencing, Anderson said Rentas was “entirely remorseless.” The jury convicted Rentas of attempted murder of a law-enforcement officer, conspiracy, assault of a law-enforcement officer and reckless endangerment.

About The Author

Don Shaw

Don Shaw journalist covering local news for The Pennsylvania Chronicle (717) 461-2107 don.shaw@pennsylvaniachronicle.com