BEDFORD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A Bedford County man and Wisconsin activist are facing multiple charges Friday after gunfire was exchanged last August between residents and a racial justice group, injuring one person.
Terry Myers, 51 of Schellsburg was arraigned Friday afternoon on charges that include aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. In addition, marcher Orsino Von Thurman, 37 of Milwaukee was charged with aggravated assault and illegal possession of a firearm.
“The charges filed against Mr. Myers and Mr. Thurman are based upon the facts of the case, not emotion or popular opinion,” said Bedford County District Attorney Lesley Childers-Potts. “I was not willing to make a charging decision based upon incomplete information. My office does everything we can to ensure that investigations and prosecutions are unbiased, and this case was no different.”
Myers currently faces 1 count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, 19 counts of simple assault, 19 counts of recklessly endangering another person, 1 count of criminal mischief, and 1 count of harassment. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 26 at 9 a.m. He also received $75,000 unsecured bond.
Myers confronted a group of activists who were marching through Bedford County the night of Aug. 24, 2020 on the 800 block of Lincoln Highway just after 11:30 p.m. Myers had reportedly asked the group to leave numerous times saying they were trespassing on his property.
An exchange of gunfire erupted between Myers and the activist group and one man was shot in the face and taken to the Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown. The victim, Cino Thurman recovered at the hospital.
“In the state police investigation, they indicate that two shots were fired at Mr. Myers before he returned the shots striking the individual who fired the gun,” said Myer’s Attorney Matthew Zatko. “Those are the facts and they are not in dispute.”
According to state police, a Benelli Nova 12-gauge pump shotgun was recovered at the scene along with shell casings. DNA collected from the shotgun matched that of Myers. A Taurus 9-mm semi-automatic pistol was also recovered by state police that had blood on the handle along with two 9-mm casings found on the road. Thurman was reportedly heard saying on the Facebook video how he was hit and “I hit him, too.”
Myers said he saw what he thought were two muzzle flashes from across the road before he fired the shotgun according to the state police report.
“I personally reviewed every piece of evidence, including over 700 pages of written reports prepared by the Pennsylvania State Police,” said DA Childers-Potts. “Where someone lives or who they know is not relevant in our prosecutions. Seeking truth and justice and doing the right thing for the right reason are important in every case.”
The activist group, totaling about 55 people, was reportedly marching from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Washington, D.C. for the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.
WTAJ has spoken to the family and they have no comment at this time.