The defendants in the Warlocks shooting in Winter Springs, Florida got a look last week at the evidence prosecutors will use against them. The evidence includes interviews with more than 100 witnesses, at least 80 separate police reports and audio and video recordings. None of this evidence has yet been made public.
David “Tin Man” Maloney, Robert William “Willy” Eckert, Victor Manuel “Pancho” Amaro and Paul Wayne Smith are accused of second degree murder and attempted murder in the shooting deaths of Harold “Lil Dave” Liddle, Peter “Hormone” Schlette and Dave “Dresser” Jakiela and the wounding of Brad Dyess and Ronnie “Whiteboy” Mitchell. The shooting occurred in a VFW Post parking lot where bikers had gathered for a charity poker run. The accused men intend to argue they acted in self defense. You can read more about that defense here.
All three of the dead men were unarmed. Mitchell told police he didn’t think Dresser Jakiela “had ever been in a fight in his life.” Mitchell also told police that the shooting was unprovoked and that Schlette was shot in the head while his motorcycle was still moving. Mitchell also told police he thought the point of the run was to raise money for a “fallen brother” and that he was carrying an $800 cash contribution.
The dead and wounded men were all members of the Orlando based Warlocks Motorcycle Club. That motorcycle club was founded in 1967 and wears a red and black Phoenix/Warbird patch. Three of the accused men, Maloney, Amaro and Smith were former members of the Warbird Warlocks who had been expelled from their old club.
The accused men have been widely described as members of another Warlocks Motorcycle Club based in Philadelphia but the situation is much more tangled than that. What a jury makes of it, or even if the biker club politics will matter, remains to be seen. But, the underlying events are cinematic.
The Biker Politics
The fourth accused man, Robert Willy Eckert, has been identified as a “Philly Warlock.” The name refers to a Warlocks Motorcycle Club that was founded in 1967 in Southwest Philadelphia. Its members wear a stylized Harpy patch.
Within the last two years, however, the “Philly Warlocks” have split in two. Eckert was expelled from the Lehigh Valley Chapter of the Pennsylvania Warlocks about the same time Maloney was expelled from his old club. The Chester, Pennsylvania chapter of the Harpy Warlocks was also decertified in 2011.
However the Chester chapter had gained some control of the Harpy Warlocks trademarks. Both the club name and the Harpy patch were trademarked in December 1996. The Chester club now refers to itself as the “Chester based and trademark registered original Warlocks.”
After Eckert moved to Florida he and Maloney applied for a charter from the Chester Warlocks. Neither man was required to prospect. None of the accused men prospected. They simply put on a new patch. And the club that threw both Eckert and the Chester chapter out of the club is embarrassed by that.
A spokesman for the original Philadelphia Warlocks told The Aging Rebel, “…the guys that killed the Florida Warlocks were not Philly Warlocks…. Guys that are wearing the Warlock colors with the Harpy from Virginia, Florida and South Carolina are not affiliated in any way with Pennsylvania or New Jersey Warlocks. Those guys had colors made and are running around Florida trying to bring the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Warlocks into shit that doesn’t concern us.”