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Court upholds sentence of Lancaster Co. man who shot at police

Written by Staff Report/WITF | Feb 20, 2019 2:03 PM
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Marquell Rentas (Photo courtesy: Lancaster County District Attorney's Office)

(Harrisburg) -- A state appellate court is upholding the sentence of a Lancaster County man serving up to 62 years  in prison for shooting at police.

The Pennsylvania Superior Court found the punishment of 30.5 to 62 years in prison was appropriate for Marquell Rentas.

Prosecutors said Rentas fired a rifle at a 27-year veteran police officer responding to a shots-fired call in July 2016.

Police said Rentas and a friend had found the firearm at a home in Columbia and started shooting it out a window in the early morning hours.

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

Rentas, who was 17 at the time of the incident, 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."

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