A North Philadelphia man is accused of gunning down a witness who testified against him in a shooting case in Montgomery County.
Gerard Gethers, 30, has been charged with first- and third-degree murder, witness intimidation, retaliation against a witness, firearms violations, and related offenses. Magisterial District Judge Gregory Scott held Gethers for court on those charges during a preliminary hearing Friday.
Gethers shot Jerry White, 34, in broad daylight on Nov. 3, walking up to the older man as he stood on a corner in Norristown with a group of others, according to the affidavit of probable cause for Gethers’ arrest.
White was shot multiple times and later pronounced dead at Suburban Community Hospital.
In court Friday, Assistant District Attorney Thomas McGoldrick played a video of surveillance footage from homes and businesses in the area. It captured a man authorities say was Gethers as he walked from an apartment building in Norristown and showed the gunman shooting White. The footage, which was shown to people who know Gethers, helped authorities identify him as the alleged shooter through the clothing worn by the gunman and distinctive tattoos on his hands.
Gethers’ attorney, Keith Harbison, said prosecutors could not prove Gethers was the gunman. No firearm was recovered, and there is no other forensic evidence linking Gethers to the scene, he said.
But McGoldrick contended that the evidence against Gethers was substantial, especially the video.
“That’s not hearsay; that’s the best evidence you can have,” he said. “The defendant caught on tape, killing in cold blood.”
A witness, whom prosecutors did not identify, saw Gethers at the county courthouse in Norristown in 2019 and reported that he said he planned to get even with “Spider,” a nickname White sometimes used, according to the affidavit.
At the time, investigators said, White was cooperating with them as a witness in a May 2019 shooting in Norristown, during which a friend of White’s had been shot in the arm. White identified Gethers as the gunman, the affidavit said.