NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A 43-year-old man charged with murder in connection with a fatal shootout at a North Charleston motorcycle shop last June has been cleared of criminal wrongdoing under the Stand Your Ground Act.
A Charleston circuit court judge ruled Friday that Ronald Reid was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed 41-year-old Maurice Horry on June 29 at Cycle Gear, located at 4400 Dorchester Road.
Reid was initially charged with first-degree murder in the case.
Court documents state testimony proved Reid was "justified in believing that he was in imminent danger of his life," at the time of the fatal shooting.
"Under the Stand Your Ground Act, [Reid] had no duty to retreat and was justified in returning force with force," documents state.
North Charleston Police Department investigators say Reid shot and killed Horry during a melee outside the shop between two rival motorcycle clubs, the Columbia-based Real Kingz and the Wheels of Soul.
Police say Horry was being attacked by a number of men inside the store, so he ran out to his motorcycle in the parking lot and grabbed his gun from under the seat.
Investigators said Reid then shot Horry, but Reid's attorneys argued that was not the case. Witnesses reported Horry shot first and struck Reid. Attorneys argued that Reid, who has a concealed weapons permit, was acting in self-defense when he returned fire.
Reid's attorneys also argued he was not part of the initial confrontation inside the store which prompted the fracas, and had only just arrived at the parking lot when Horry began firing shots. Reid's attorneys say he was attending a fundraising cookout at Norton & Son's Auto-Detailing Shop across the street just before accompanying his friend, 36-year-old Summerville man Theodore Waymeyers Jr. to go purchase a helmet.
Waymeyers Jr., along with 39-year-old Carols Davis, of Columbia, were also killed in the shootout.
According to court documents, testimony proved Reid was not at the engine-revving incident that took place before the shooting, and there was no evidence to prove anyone told Reid about it before he left the cookout. There was also no evidence to contradict that Reid was going to Cycle Gear to look at helmets.
"Anything about the Defendant's motive for going to the Cycle Gear shop that afternoon other than the evidence presented at the hearing is pure speculation," records state.