BEDFORD, Pa. — Bedford County will beef up security when a Schellsburg man appears in court accused of shooting a civil rights activist with a shotgun last summer during a Black Lives Matter march along Route 30.
Bedford County Sheriff Wayne Emerick said he is working with other law-enforcement agencies to provide security during Terry Myers’ preliminary hearing Wednesday in Central Court in Bedford.
Myers, 51, is accused in the Aug. 24 shooting of Orsino Thurman, 37, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
“We’re planning to step-up security and will monitor the courtroom,” Emerick said Friday.
Steps are also being taken in the event protesters are present.
“We’re not sure what to expect,” Emerick said. “We’re planning for whatever pops up.”
Bedford County President Judge Travis W. Livengood outlined courtroom procedures in a memo obtained by The Tribune-Democrat.
Courtroom seating will be limited. Three seats will be reserved for the District Attorney’s office, five seats for the defendant and defense counsel and one seat for each media outlet.
Myers faces dozens of charges, including one count of aggravated assault and 19 counts each of reckless endangerment and simple assault. He is free on bond.
State police in Bedford allege that Myers fired a shotgun, striking Thurman in the face with birdshot after marchers stopped at the Myers property and auto garage while traveling along Route 30 on their way from Wisconsin to Washington, D.C. for the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
Troopers alleged that Thurman also fired at Myers with a 9mm handgun, but the Schellsburg man was not hit.
Thurman was taken to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, in Johnstown, where he was treated and released the following day.
Thurman also faces criminal charges and has yet to be arraigned.
No information was available on how many BLM activists were subpoenaed to testify at Myers’ hearing, but Emerick pledged enough security to guard supporters on both sides.
Patrick Buchnowski is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 532-5061. Follow him on Twitter @PatBuchnowskiTD.
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