Charge dropped against re-enactment shooter

Published 8:24 am Friday, September 18, 2009

ISLE OF WIGHT— A misdemeanor charge of reckless handling of a firearm has been dismissed against a Norfolk man who accidentally wounded a 73-year-old Civil War re-enactor last September.

Joshua Owen Silva, 30, has apparently satisfied the mandate of the Isle of Wight County Circuit Court, which ordered Silva to complete a firearms safety course by Wednesday’s sentencing hearing.

Silva pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge on June 24.

In June, Isle of Wight County Commonwealth’s Attorney Wayne Farmer said Silva had also agreed to pay the victim, Thomas R. Lord Sr. of Suffolk, approximately $1,200 to help cover his medical bills from the Sept. 27, 2008, incident. At the time, Farmer said Silva had paid about half of that restitution. Farmer, who could not be reached for comment Thursday, also said Lord approved of the plea agreement in advance.

The charge stems from an incident at Heritage Park during the filming of a Civil War documentary. Lord, a Union re-enactor, was shot in the back with a pistol. He was rushed by helicopter to a Norfolk hospital for treatment and released two days later.

Investigators were able to identify Silva by looking through footage from at least two cameras.