The trial of Paul Wayne “Dog” Smith is an example of what Yogi Berra called ‘‘déjà vu all over again.” He is the fourth defendant to be tried for the same alleged crime – the murder of three men who rode with the Warlocks Motorcycle Club and the attempted murder of two more.
The men who died were Harold “Lil Dave” Liddle, Peter “Hormone” Schlette and Dave “Dresser” Jakiela. The men Smith is accused of trying to kill are Brad Dyess and Ronnie “Whiteboy” Mitchell.
The other three men who have been tried are David “Tin Man” Maloney, Robert William “Willy” Eckert and Victor Manuel “Pancho” Amaro. Maloney, who didn’t actually shoot anybody, was acquitted of most of the charges against him. Prosecutors may or may not punish the public with a sixth trial to try to convict Maloney of something. Eckert didn’t shoot anybody either but he was found guilty of multiple charges and sentenced to 27 years in prison. Amaro killed Liddle and Jakiela, was tried twice and is now serving life in prison. There is absolutely no question that Smith killed Schlette. He shot Schlette in the arm while the dead man sat on his motorcycle and knocked him down. Schlette rose, said something to the effect of “Motherfucker! You just shot me!” Then Smith shot Schlette in the eye.
Mitchell took the stand today, as he has in previous trials, to testify against Smith. John Boudreau, who was national President of the larger and more important of America’s two Warlocks Motorcycle Clubs at the time of the murder, testified today that he was aware that the poker run at which five of his club brothers were killed or wounded was sponsored by the smaller and less important of America’s two Warlocks Motorcycle Clubs. “Don’t take anyone. Don’t send anyone. Don’t go. It’s a bad idea,” Boudreau swore he said.
America’s two Warlocks Motorcycle Clubs, headquartered in Orlando and in Philadelphia, managed to coexist for about 40 decades but a few years into the new millennium some Philly Warlocks began to say things like “those poseurs in Florida stole our name in 1967.” Smith, like Maloney and then Philly Warlocks Southeastern States Boss Ed “Nightmare” Glowitz, were all former members of the Florida Warlocks with grudges against their former club. After the shooting, Glowitz commented on Schlette’s death “He was a Poseur. Now he’s worm dirt.” It isn’t yet clear whether Glowitz, who also answers to “Chester Freddie,” will testify in this trial or what he will say.
Former Orlando chapter president Thomas “Contender” McGarry, who was in the Orlando clubhouse at the time of the shooting, testified that he had instructed all his club brothers there not to go. McGarry told the jury he had yelled, “‘We ain’t going, man. Just sit tight.’ The ones who went up there, they just went up there when, why, I don’t know,” McGarry explained. “Not everybody listens.”
Despite the warnings, the five men rode over to the poker run carrying an $800 contribution anyway – inexplicably and tragically. They seem to have arrived mere moments after the police surveilling the event inexplicably and tragically drove away. This is the fifth jury to hear this story.
The novelty in this trial is Smith’s lawyer, a confident and shameless blonde named Debra Ferwerda, who seems to have previously specialized in divorce cases and who in this case has relentlessly blamed the victims. Yesterday she told the jury Schlette had threatened to rape Smith’s wife. Today she described him as “a scary, violent, crazy guy” who approached her client demonstrating “tough guy” body language. Borrowing a page from the Sons of Anarchy story bible, Ferwerda told the jury Schlette already had a blood alcohol level of 0.075 at 10:45 a.m. and that his lifeless body had also tested positive for marijuana. The implication was that Schlette, like Gemma Morrow, was in the throws of homicidal reefer madness.
Ferwerda has also suggested several times that someone shot at Smith and grazed his face after he shot Schlette the first time. So the shot to Schlette’s eye was really a desperate act of self defense by a man who thought he was about to die.