A Bedford County man accused of shooting at black lives matter protestors last summer has had his most serious charges cleared.
He will still head to trial on several misdemeanor charges.
In a case that has raised tensions throughout Bedford County, most of the charges against 51-year-old Terry Myers were either withdrawn or thrown out.
Only seven counts of reckless endangerment and a summary harassment offense is going to common court.
“I just want to thank the state police,” Myers said as he walked out and drove away from court after his count of felony aggravated assault, all 19 counts of simple assault and a majority of the reckless endangerment charges were thrown out or withdrawn by prosecutors Wednesday.
Myers lawyer argued that after giving two warning shots towards Black Lives Matter protesters who had been across the street from his father’s home for about an hour back in August, that Myers and his father were shot then shot at twice by one of the protesters, Orsino Thurman, before Meyers shot his shotgun back at Thurman.
Some of the protesters gave emotional testimony that Myers cursed and used the n-word against them, but none could say who all fired what shots.
Bedford County authorities said they beefed up security as a precaution for the hearing.
During the hearing, the judge dismissed the charges of simple and aggravated assault.
Myers’ case will proceed to trial on the seven counts of reckless endangerment and one count of harassment.
A state police investigator testified that DNA and video evidence showed Myers reacted to what he had said were flashes that he saw coming from the protesters believed to have been the two shots fired by Thurman, about 45 seconds after the initial warning shots.
Many of the counts were withdrawn after the testimony was completed as several subpoenaed witnesses, including Thurman, did not show for the preliminary hearing.
The judge then dismissed several more counts, leaving just 8 of the 41 counts left standing for common court.
“Obviously we are pleased,” said Myers’ attorney, Matthew Zatko. “There is disappointment they weren’t all dismissed. He welcomes the opportunity to clear his name once and for all. There’s a sense of relief there is vindication today he acted appropriately or as the circumstances dictated that night.”
Thurman is still awaiting an arraignment.
No court date has been set on the remaining charges against Myers.