The trial of Chester Warlock Victor Manuel “Pancho” Amaro ended in a mistrial today.
Amaro is one of four members of the throwback faction of the Philadelphia based Warlocks Motorcycle Club accused of murdering three members of the totally distinct and different Orlando based Warlocks Motorcycle Club. The three other defendants are David “Tin Man” Maloney, Robert William “Willy” Eckert and Paul Wayne Smith.
Maloney was acquitted on two counts of second degree murder and one count of attempted murder six days ago. The jury deadlocked on a second count of attempted murder against Florida Warlock Ronnie “Whiteboy” Mitchell and a mistrial was declared. Prosecutors, who seem to be the sort of prosecutors of whom defendants dream, keep acting as if they intend to retry Maloney on the mistrial count but also keep saying they don’t know whether they will or not. Maloney is now free on a $50,000 bond.
Prosecutors have also insisted that Amaro fired the shots that killed Florida Warlocks Harold “Lil Dave” Liddle and Dave “Dresser” Jakiela. Amaro, like Maloney, has argued that he shot in self defense and that one of the five Florida Warlocks who rode into a VFW Post parking lot in Winter Springs, Florida on September 30, 2012 shot at him first.
Amaro faces three counts of second degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. His trial began Monday. A jury had been selected, opening statements had been made and the prosecution had almost completed its case when the prosecutors tripped over their own feet Thursday afternoon.
The State’s lawyers played Amaro’s tape recorded statement to police after he was arrested. The recording included the defendant’s admission that he was a convicted felon. In certain jurisdictions under certain circumstances jurors may hear that a defendant is a convicted felon. It is not permissible for jurors in a state trial in Florida to hear that. So Amaro’s lawyers objected and state Judge Jessica Recksiedler granted the defendant a mistrial.
It is not immediately apparent when Amaro will be in court again. In coming weeks, Judge Recksiedler is scheduled to preside over the trials of Eckert and Smith. Lisa Haba, the Assistant State Attorney who just botched this case, is nine months pregnant and has a due date of April 21.
The defendants in this case have all claimed to have acted in self defense. At his trial, Maloney argued that he lived in constant fear of the Florida Warlocks.
At his trial, Maloney testified: “I figured they were there to kill me…all of us…. They’ve told us numerous times they wanted us dead. They told me I had to leave the state of Florida. Shutting us down meant they were going to kill us…. My office was about a mile from my house. So, whenever I would leave my house, I would never leave in the same direction. I would never come home the same way. I never went to work the same time. I varied my routes all the time.”