Paul Wayne “Dog” Smith began his defense today in his murder trial in Sanford, Florida. Smith is accused of three counts of second degree murder and two counts of attempted first degree murder that resulted from a gun fight in Winter Springs, Florida on September 30, 2012. He claims he started the minute long battle and killed Peter “Hormone” Schlette while acting in self defense.
Schlette was a member of the Warlocks Motorcycle Club as were the two other men who died that Sunday morning, Harold “Lil Dave” Liddle and Dave “Dresser” Jakiela. Two more Warlocks named Brad Dyess and Ronnie “Whiteboy” Mitchell were wounded.
Smith and three others named David “Tin Man” Maloney, Robert William “Willy” Eckert and Victor Manuel “Pancho” Amaro were all accused of murder. Those four were members of a completely separate Warlocks Motorcycle Club that has roots in Philadelphia. Members of the much larger Warlocks MC headquartered in Orlando wear a phoenix on their backs. Members of the smaller Philadelphia based club wear a harpy patch. The Harpy Warlocks have split into factions that are hostile to one another. For reasons having as much to do with advancing age and a desire to escape Philadelphia’s winters as anything else, members of the Harpy Warlock faction led by members of the Chester, Pennsylvania chapter, moved to Florida and founded a chapter of their club there. That chapter recruited several disgruntled former members of the phoenix patch Warlocks, which has led to news outlets in Florida repeatedly describing “the Philly Warlocks” as “an offshoot” of the “Florida Warlocks.”
Smith and Maloney are both former members of the Phoenix Warlocks.
Smith’s attorney, Debra Ferwerda, has told jurors that Smith had a long standing and reasonably grounded fear of the Florida Warlocks and of Schlette in particular.
She has claimed, for example, that Smith (see photo above) was badly beaten on February 5, 2011 as retribution for daring to run for club president against winner John Boudreau. At the beginning of her defense, Ferwerda called former Florida Warlock Steven Hammer, described as one of Smith’s “closest friends,” who was beaten at the same time with Smith. Hammer testified he was beaten for being rude to another club member
But an informed source suggests that Smith and Hammer were beaten for other reasons. That person describes both Smith and Hammer as methamphetamine abusers without jobs, income or motorcycles who were squatting in the Florence, South Carolina clubhouse and refused to leave and who were rude to everyone who visited.
Scary, Violent, Crazy, Rapist, Gang
Ferwerda has also told jurors that Schlette was “a scary, violent, crazy guy” who had threatened to rape Smith’s wife and who cathected “tough guy” body language just before he was shot and who may have actually been trying to “ambush” Smith. Smith shot Schlette in the arm as he sat on his motorcycle and then shot the dead man in the face as he rose to protest.
Ferwerda called Doctor William Anderson, a former medical examiner who testified that he inferred from the path of the bullet that wounded Schlette that was leaning forward when he was shot. The implication seems to be that Schlette was leaning forward to attack Smith rather than leaning forward to grasp his handlebars.
Another witness named Robert Chomiczewski testified that he left the Florida based Warlocks and joined the Harpy Warlocks because his old club “started changing from a club into a gang.”