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Judge dismisses murder charge against motorcyclist who argued self-defense in Cycle Gear shooting

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A judge on Friday dismissed a murder charge against the Summerville man who said he was defending himself when he fatally shot a member of a motorcycle club last summer in North Charleston.

Ronald Reid, 44, was granted immunity from prosecution and from civil liability under the S.C. Protection of Persons and Property Act. He had been free since late August, when a judge cited Reid's self-defense story in granting him $100,000 bail.

Reid, who had a concealed-weapons permit, shot 41-year-old Maurice Horry of Columbia on June 29 outside Cycle Gear in North Charleston.

Horry, a former Mount Pleasant resident, had been the first to open fire after a group of motorcyclists attacked his friend inside the store on Dorchester Road. Horry fatally shot two men, Theodore Waymyers Jr., 36, of Summerville, and Carlos Davis, 39, of Columbia, and wounded Reid when he fired into the alleged mob.

Reid was a member of a group of motorcyclists known as the Wheels of Soul Brotherhood. Horry belonged to The Real Kings Columbia, which was affiliated with an umbrella group, the Outcast Motorcycle Club. The Wheels of Soul and Outcast were known for violence between chapters elsewhere in the country.

Authorities focused on the supposed gang implications of the case, but the dispute that led to gunfire outside the Dorchester Road store was said to have been something simpler: Horry might have revved his engine, a show of disrespect to the other club.

Ninth Circuit Judge Roger Young laid out the case facts in his order Friday after he heard three days of testimony earlier in the week.

The sole witness in his own defense, Reid testified about his role. None of the 12 witnesses that prosecutors called to the stand contradicted his account.

Reid said he had followed other motorcyclists to the store, not knowing why they were headed there. He didn't know, he said, that Horry and his friend, Timothy Haymond of North Charleston, had somehow offended the bunch.

When he walked inside, the motorcyclists were beating Haymond. Horry ran into the parking lot, got a gun from his motorcycle and opened fire on the crowd as it came outside.

Reid said he was shot as he tried to run away.

The lone question in the case was whether he had taken part in the melee that prompted the fight. Young ruled that he hadn't.

"It is not contested that if the defendant was not at fault, he would otherwise be justified in returning force with the force as he did under a reasonable belief that his life was in imminent danger, thus giving him the right to 'stand his ground,'" Young wrote. "I find that the defendant has met his burden of proving that he was not at fault in bringing about . the fight."

Two other men remain charged in the brawl.

Charlotte-area resident Barry Stinson, 33, and Derryl Gadson, 50, of West Ashley each face a felony count of second-degree assault and battery by mob.

Reid was represented by Charleston attorneys Andy Savage and Cameron Blazer during the immunity proceeding.

Deputy Chief Solicitor Bruce DuRant led the prosecution team that included Assistant Solicitors Culver Kidd and David Osborne.

Look for a detailed account of the Cycle Gear shootings in Monday's edition of The Post and Courier.

Writer: Andrew Knapp
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