BEDFORD – Nineteen people have been subpoenaed to testify at Wednesday’s preliminary hearing for the Schellsburg man accused of shooting a Wisconsin civil rights activist last summer during a Black Lives Matter march through Bedford County, authorities said.
Terry Myers, 51, faces 19 counts each of simple assault and reckless endangerment stemming from the Aug. 24 shooting of Orsino Thurman, 37, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
It’s not clear how many of the 19 will make the trip from Wisconsin.
Alan Cashaw, president of the Johnstown branch of the NAACP, said the most recent information that he has from the Black Lives Matter group is that all 19 will be in Bedford on Wednesday along with 16 family members and friends.
Thurman was part of a group of about 20 activists traveling on foot and in vehicles from Wisconsin to Washington, D.C., for the March to Washington 2020 event on the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
The group stopped in the 800 block of Lincoln Highway in Schellsburg.
State police said there was an exchange of gunfire between the activists and Myers after they gathered in the parking lot of a family business across Route 30 from his father’s house.
Myers allegedly fired a shotgun, striking Thurman, who was taken to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown, where he was treated and later released.
Troopers allege that Thurman fired a handgun at Myers, but the Schellsburg man was not hit.
Troopers recovered a shotgun, shotgun shells, a semi-automatic pistol and a 9mm shell casing.
Terry Myers also faces one count each of aggravated assault, criminal mischief and harassment. He is free on bond.
Thurman was charged with two counts of simple assault, two counts of reckless endangerment and one count each of illegal possession of a firearm, aggravated assault, criminal mischief and criminal trespass.
Thurman has yet to be arraigned. Online records show no court date for Thurman.
Charges filed against both men on May 7 capped a nine-month investigation that District Attorney Lesley Childers-Potts said was based on a 700-page report filed by state police.
“I was not willing to make a charging decision based upon incomplete information,” she said in a statement. “Where someone lives or who they know is not relevant in our prosecutions.”
Defense attorney Matt Zatko, of Somerset, said the marchers were trespassing and that Myers fired in self-defense.
Patrick Buchnowski is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 814-532-5061. Follow him on Twitter @PatBuchnowskiTD.
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