The accomplice of a male who opened fire on Lancaster County police officers last year in Columbia was sentenced Friday in county court.
Trenton Nace, 19, pleaded no-contest to felony counts of conspiracy to murder of a law-enforcement officer, aggravated assault (two counts) and misdemeanor reckless endangerment, regarding his involvement in July 29, 2016, incident.
Nace, in an interview with police, admitted to feeding Marquell Rentas rounds, and collecting spent casings, as Rentas fired. No officers were struck or injured.
Lancaster County President Judge Dennis Reinaker ordered Nace serve 10 to 20 years in prison.
Rentas was convicted at a September trial of attempted murder of a law-enforcement officer, conspiracy, assault of a law-enforcement officer and reckless endangerment. His sentencing is pending.
Assistant District Attorney Travis S. Anderson, who prosecuted both males, said Nace’s participation in the incident, and the evidence against him, differed from that of Rentas.
President Judge Reinaker, while ordering sentence, said Nace’s role in the crime was “poignantly different” than Rentas,’ and that Nace’s dealings with police after the incident were more respectful.
However, the judge said, “This is extremely serious business. Make no mistake, in this county, this kind of behavior toward police, is not acceptable.”
Rentas made repeated statements to police that he was targeting officers. Three officers testified at trial of how they were being fired upon, feeling percussions and hearing bullet strikes.
In Nace’s case, the conspiracy to murder of a law-enforcement officer charge and two counts of aggravated assault regard those three officers – from Columbia and East and West Hempfield Township police departments.
Nace admitted to seeing police officers in the area and, despite that, Rentas continued to fire.
“Your sentence will be considerably different than (Rentas’),” President Judge Reinaker said.
A defendant who pleads no contest doesn’t admit guilt, but concedes there is ample evidence for conviction. A no-contest plea has the same legal effect as a guilty plea.
Nace declined to comment in court Friday.
Columbia Borough police Detective Matthew Leddy filed charges.
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