David “Tin Man’ Maloney, who anticipated and arranged the murder of three members of the Warlocks Motorcycle Club but who was found not guilty of most of the charges filed against him, was back in court in Sanford, Florida this morning asking for his guns back.
Maloney is a former member of the Florida-based Warlocks who joined a new club after he was kicked out of his old one. His new club was an offshoot of another Warlocks Motorcycle Club that traditionally asserted its presence within a 50 mile radius of Philadelphia. Members of that Philadelphia born club wear a stylized harpy back patch. Members of the Warlocks club that is based in Florida where a phoenix or “Warbird” on their backs. Most reporters stopped trying after describing Maloney’s club as the “Philly Warlocks” but it really isn’t that simple.
For a period of about two decades, beginning during Vietnam, the Harpy Warlocks were widely and respectfully regarded as one of the least compromising and most assertive of all the motorcycle clubs in the United States. The Chester, Pennsylvania chapter of that club was among the most influential and several of its most fearsome members ended up in prison. After those men paid their debts to society and returned home they found that the world had changed and that the Philly Warlocks had become a significantly less important club than it once had been.
The old timers who came back home to Chester, a ravaged city just south of Philadelphia, incorporated their club and trademarked their insignia. They largely ignored the rest of the Harpy Warlocks chapters, authorized new chapters that would answer only to them and began handing out patches.
Some of those Chester Warlocks eventually moved to Florida, as aging men from the Northeast like to do, and started a chapter there. After Maloney was voted out bad from the Warbird Warlocks, he joined the Harpy Warlocks. What happened next probably only seems logical to a psychiatrist or a pharmacologist.
Maloney’s Harpy Warlocks chapter sponsored a poker run on September 30, 2012. Maloney and his new club brothers managed to convince themselves that the Warbird Warlocks would show up and kill them all. So Maloney and his new club brothers armed themselves with 15 guns and apparently decided to kill any Warbird Warlocks who showed up before the Warbird Warcloks could kill them.
Tragically, five Warbird Warlocks did show up with an $800 donation for the veterans charity the poker run was supposed to benefit. As they pulled into the parking where the run was supposed to start, the Harpy Warlocks opened fire.
Three Warbird Warlocks died. Their names were Harold “Lil Dave” Liddle, Peter “Hormone” Schlette and Dave “Dresser” Jakiela died. Two other men, Brad Dyess and Ronnie “Whiteboy” Mitchell were wounded during the ambush.
Maloney and three other Harpy Warlocks named Victor Manuel “Pancho” Amaro, Robert William “Willy” Eckert and Paul Wayne “Dog” Smith.were charged with murder. They were all tried separately with very disparate results. Smith was found not guilty of first and second degree murder. Eckert, who never shot anybody, is now doing 27 years to life. Amaro, who killed Liddle and Jakiela, was sentenced to life in prison. Smith who shot Schlette in the face as he sat on his motorcycle was found not guilty. Maloney was found not guilty of all charges but one. His jury hung on a charge of aggravated assault. Eventually, he negotiated a plea deal in which he pled no contest to the remaining charge but he was not convicted of a felony.
So he can still legally own firearms and today he asked that three pistols and two shotguns used as evidence to convict both Eckert and Amaro be returned to him.
According to Florida law, evidence in a criminal case cannot be returned to its owner until the case is closed. And, Amaro and Eckert’s cases will not be closed until they complete their sentences. Both Amaro and Eckert are appealing their convictions and the guns might be entered into evidence if they are granted new trials.
Judge Alva told Maloney he could have his guns back if both Amaro and Eckert agree to let him have them.