NORRISTOWN — A Philadelphia man accused of fatally shooting a Norristown man faces a trial in Montgomery County Court.
Gerard Gethers, 29, of the 400 block of West Wellens Street in Philadelphia, was ordered to stand trial, after a preliminary hearing before District Court Judge Gregory Scott, on charges of first- and third-degree murder, person not to possess a firearm, possessing an instrument of crime and recklessly endangering another person in connection with the alleged Nov. 3 fatal shooting of Jerry “Spider” White in Norristown.
Gethers will remain in the county jail without bail while awaiting his formal arraignment on the charges in county court.
Gethers was apprehended by the U.S. Marshall’s Fugitive Task Force at his residence in December, after remaining on the lam for about a month after the alleged killing.
Deputy District Attorney Thomas McGoldrick and co-prosecutor Lindsay Mills are prosecuting the case. Defense lawyer Keith Harbison is representing Gethers, according to court records.
The investigation began about 3:36 p.m. Nov. 3 when Norristown police heard multiple gunshots while on patrol and immediately located the victim in the roadway along the 500 block of West Marshall Street. White, 34, was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to the criminal complaint filed by Montgomery County Detective Michael Crescitelli and Norristown Detective Louis Geiser.
An autopsy determined White died of multiple gunshot wounds and the manner of death was ruled homicide. A projectile was removed from White’s body during the autopsy, court documents indicate.
County detectives and Norristown police determined the fatal shooting was captured by video surveillance cameras in the area. The video depicted a single man approach White from the intersection of George and West Marshall streets, according to court papers.
“The suspect clearly targeted White, as the suspect fired a black semiautomatic pistol,” Crescitelli and Geiser alleged in the arrest affidavit.
At the time, detectives noted that the suspect was wearing a black hooded Nike jacket and a white face covering and had “a prominent tattoo” on his left hand and walked with an unusual gait.
Authorities alleged Gethers’ tattoo on his left hand matched the tattoo on the shooter’s hand as depicted in the surveillance video that recorded the fatal shooting.
After being shot, White ran east onto West Marshall Street and collapsed, detectives said. Detectives who processed the crime scene recovered three .380-caliber fired cartridge casings on the sidewalk in the area where the suspect was captured by video surveillance.
During the investigation, a witness contacted detectives and stated Gethers, in November 2019, threatened to “get even” with “Spider,” according to the criminal complaint.
At the time he made the alleged threat, Gethers was facing a charge of aggravated assault related to an alleged May 12, 2019, shooting in Norristown, according to court documents. During the investigation of the May 2019 shooting, White had identified Gethers as the individual who shot the victim, according to the criminal complaint.
Court documents indicate Gethers was convicted of a felony robbery-related charge in December 2009 and as a result was prohibited from possessing a firearm.
“This defendant went looking for the victim and when he found him, he shot him dead, using a firearm that he was not legally allowed to possess,” District Attorney Kevin R. Steele alleged at the time of the shooting, calling it “a chilling murder.”