3 charged after investigation into demonstrations in downtown Asheville last month

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ASHEVILLE, NC (WSPA) – Asheville Police Department officials provided an update to an incident where people openly carried firearms during demonstrations last month in downtown Asheville.

According to news release, police said a series of demonstrations occurred in the area of the Roger McGuire Green on June 21.

“As the events continued on into the evening hours, several persons that arrived late in the day did so while openly carrying firearms,” according to the release. “Fortunately, no acts of violence occurred and the Asheville Police Department elected to avoid direct intervention with those persons in an attempt to avoid further escalating the attendees.”

According to the release, detectives started a criminal investigation into the events, specifically focusing on possible violations of a North Carolina General Statute that says that weapons at parades are prohibited.

Following the investigation, Zachary Steve McFarland, 30, of Asheville, William Jay Turknett, 36, of Hendersonville and Joshua Cody Case, 35, of Candler, were charged by way of criminal summons.

Police said in additional to the statutory violation, Case was also charged with carrying a firearm within a city park.

According to the release, the incident remains under investigation and anyone with information is asked to call Asheville Police at 828-252-1110.

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