Trial dates have been set for the four men accused of killing three Florida Warlocks patch holders during a charity poker run on September 30, 2012.
The dead men were Harold “Lil Dave” Liddle, Peter “Hormone” Schlette and Dave “Dresser” Jakiela. Two other men, Brad Dyess and Ronnie “Whiteboy” Mitchell, were wounded during the incident.
David “Tin Man” Maloney, Robert William “Willy” Eckert, Victor Manuel “Pancho” Amaro and Paul Wayne Smith are all accused of second degree murder and attempted murder. The four men will be tried separately. The four trials will all be held at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center in Sanford, Florida.
Maloney will be tried by Judge Marlene Alva in Courtroom 5C beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, March 31. The courtroom is all his through Friday, April 4.
The other defendants will present their cases before Judge Jessica Recksiedler in Courtroom 5D. Amaro’s trial will begin on April 14; Eckert’s trial will begin on April 21; and Smith’s trial will begin May 5.
The dead men were all unarmed. They were killed as they rode into the parking lot of a VFW Post in Winter Springs, Florida. They were carrying an $800 contribution. According to a witness, the men understood the poker run was to help a “fallen brother.” The same witness said that Schlette was shot in the head while his motorcycle was still moving.
Both the victims and the accused were members of clubs that call themselves Warlocks.
The dead and wounded men belonged to the Warlocks Motorcycle Club based in Orlando, Florida. That club was founded in 1967 and its members wear a red and yellow Phoenix on their backs. Maloney, Amaro and Smith are all former members of that club.
But at the time of the shooting the accused men were members of a faction of a Warlocks Motorcycle Club founded in 1967 in Southwest Philadelphia. Its members wear a stylized Harpy patch. To further complicate matters, there are two factions within the Harpy Warlocks. The shooters were all aligned with the Chester, Pennsylvania chapter of the Harpy Warlocks. Members of that chapter trademarked the club patch. They identify themselves as the “Chester based and trademark registered original Warlocks” and they began to add chapters within the last three years.
In 2012, 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.”
The defendants were all heavily armed. According to police, Maloney was carrying three pistols. He also had “two Mossberg 12-gauge shotguns, a .38-caliber revolver and a.357-magnum revolver along with a bullet-proof vest and an undisclosed amount of ammunition” cached in his car.
All four defendants are expected to claim they acted in self defense. Maloney, either in testimony or through his attorney, will argue that the Chester Warlocks feared that as many as 40 Phoenix Warlocks would attack them at the starting point for the run after most other riders had left. He will argue that he stationed guards at the entrance to the parking lot with orders to keep members of the other club out.
According to multiple Chester Warlock sources, the accused men will argue that they were in fear for their lives after they told the five Phoenix Warlocks, “Get the fuck out. We don’t want you here.”
A jury will begin to decide how reasonable the use of deadly force was in that situation in about 11 days.