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The original item was published from 2/21/2019 1:26:00 PM to 6/8/2019 5:05:07 PM.

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District Attorney

Posted on: February 21, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Pa. Court: 62-Year Sentence Stands for Man Convicted of Firing High-Powered Rifle at Police


A Columbia man serving up to 62 years in prison for shooting at police will get no relief from a state appellate court.

The Pennsylvania Superior Court found the punishment - 30½ to 62 years in prison – was appropriate for what Marquell Rentas did in Columbia on July 29, 2016.

Assistant District Attorney Travis S. Anderson presented evidence at trial that Rentas fired at a 27-year veteran officer, who was one of many officers who responded to a shots-fired call on Bethel Street.

The jury convicted Rentas of attempted murder of a law-enforcement officer, conspiracy, assault of a law-enforcement officer and reckless endangerment.

Rentas, in a request for relief, claimed the sentence was cruel and unusual and a violation of his constitutional rights, considering no officers were injured in the incident.

The appellate court, in its opinion, wrote that Rentas failed to establish how the sentence “is grossly disproportionate to his crime of attempting to severely injure or kill a law enforcement officer by firing a high-powered rifle at him.”

The sentence was “entirely rational” regardless of whether an officer was struck, the appellate court wrote.

Columbia police Detective Matthew Leddy filed charges.                              

MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041;; Twitter: @BrettHambright

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