Prosecutors list 89 potential witnesses in Therit slaying NORTH -- Manchester * Hampstead * Lineboro

November 17, 1992|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

Prosecutors have submitted a list of 89 potential witnesses who could be called to testify against Michael C. Bryson Sr. in his murder trial.

Mr. Bryson, who was charged with first-degree murder in the shotgun death of Melrose hardware store owner Charles W. Therit, will have his trial heard by Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Warren B. Duckett Jr. beginning Jan. 7.

The jury trial -- moved from Carroll after Mr. Bryson requested a change of venue -- is expected to last up to six weeks, according to court records in Annapolis.

In addition to ballistics experts, state police investigators and people believed to have been in the Melrose area on the night of the shooting, Mr. Bryson's mother, father and grandmother are on the list of potential witnesses.

Although prosecutors don't expect to call all of those witnesses, Assistant State's Attorney Clarence W. Beall said yesterday that as many as 50 could be called.

Yesterday was the deadline set by Judge Duckett for the filing of pre-trial motions in the death penalty case. He has scheduled a motions hearing for Dec. 1 and 2.

Few new motions had been filed since Carroll Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. ruled that a taped statement in which Mr. Bryson denies shooting Mr. Therit could be used in the trial.

Except for a prosecution request to question Mr. Bryson's father, the only other substantive motion in the file is one in which prosecutors are seeking to shield the jury from some details of the investigation leading to Mr. Bryson's arrest.

Mr. Bryson, 26, was charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery, two counts of murder in the commission of a felony, robbery, misdemeanor theft and battery.

The Therit killing, the county's only homicide this year, stunned North Carroll residents. Mr. Bryson was arrested April 6 after investigators recovered the 20-gauge Stoeger shotgun police say was used in the killing and found fingerprints matching Mr. Bryson's at the scene.

Mr. Bryson is being held without bail at the Carroll County Detention Center. He will be moved to the Anne Arundel County Detention Center for the motions hearings and the trial.

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