Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Double-murder suspect seeks a low profile

LARGO — Patrick A. Evans lived the life of a high-profile corporate executive with a six-figure salary, a Corvette, a private plane and overseas assignments.

But now that he is awaiting trial in a double homicide, Evans' attorneys are trying to create a much lower profile for the former Jabil Circuit vice president.

They are asking a judge to keep secret some of the evidence against Evans, especially the contents of a 911 call related to the shooting deaths of his estranged wife, Elizabeth K. Evans, 44, and her friend Jerry B. Taylor, 43. Both were shot once in the neck at Elizabeth Evans' Gulfport condo on Dec. 20.

Patrick Evans, 41, was arrested on first-degree murder charges the next day.

The Pinellas Sheriff's Office has refused to discuss the contents of the 911 call. But one of Evans' neighbors has said investigators told her the shootings were captured on the call.

Elizabeth Evans "never hung up the phone," said Meredith Hochstetter, who lives near Patrick Evans' million-dollar waterfront home in St. Pete Beach. "(The tape) was still going when it happened."

Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Nancy Moate Ley seemed surprised by the attorneys' request to seal evidence, including a document that outlines what authorities collected during a search warrant in the case.

"Why is this different from any other case other than you're telling me your client wouldn't like the public to know?" Ley asked during a hearing on Thursday.

Attorney Frank McDermott said he is trying to make sure his client gets a fair trial. He doesn't want potential jurors to hear allegations that could influence their opinion outside of the courthouse.

"Why would we possibly want to bend the rules and handle this case in a way that's different than the other cases that I've worked so hard over my career to make sure that they were fair?" the judge said.

Although trials are sometimes moved when extensive media coverage threatens to make it impossible to find an impartial jury, Ley said that she has never had such a case in her 30 years of working as an attorney and judge.

Ley did not rule on the request, instead setting a hearing for Monday to further discuss the issue.

McDermott was so concerned about publicity that he asked that Monday's hearing be held in camera, meaning away from public view. Ley questioned that, too, saying there was no obvious reason for secrecy now that the search has been completed. She said Monday's hearing would be open to the public.

Also on Thursday, McDermott asked the judge to allow his client to wear suits to pretrial hearings.

Ley said Evans will be allowed to dress up at trial, but that she won't put jail employees through having to arrange for a different set of clothes for pretrial hearings.

Evans attended Thursday's hearing in standard-issue jail clothing; a set of navy blue scrubs with a beige stripe, and simple black sandals. He has been held in the Pinellas County Jail without bond since his Dec. 21 arrest.

Curtis Krueger can be reached at or (727) 893-8232.

Double-murder suspect seeks a low profile 01/08/09 [Last modified: Sunday, January 11, 2009 5:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa poll rates streets, flooding, police-community relations and transportation as top public priorities


    A city of Tampa online survey of the public's priorities for the next 18 months rated improving streets and easing flooding as the top priority of nearly 89 percent of respondents.

    Survey results
  2. Video shows women violently beating another in apparent Pasco road rage incident


    NEW PORT RICHEY — Two women are accused of dragging another woman out of her car window and beating her unconscious at a Pasco County intersection in an apparent road rage incident, according to the Sheriff's Office.

    Shelley Lyn Gemberling, 49, and Alicia Nikole Scarduzio, 20, are accused of pulling another driver out of her car and beating her in a Pasco County intersection. (Pasco Sheriff's Office)
  3. Top 5 at noon: Out of sight, out of mind: a Times investigation; PolitiFact: what's at stake in the tax debate? and more


    Here are the latest headlines and updates on

    Aaron Richardson Jr. talks to voices in his head at his father's bail bond business in St. Petersburg. Richardson has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT   |   TIMES]
  4. It's not a game, but the names are all the same in this football family


    TAMPA — A coach yells across the field into a scrum of blue-and-white clad football bodies at Jefferson High: "Kim Mitchell! Kim Mitchell, come here!"

    These twins are not only identical, but they have almost identical names. Kim Mitchell III, left, and Kim Mitchell IV are  talented football players at Jefferson High with Division I-A college offers. Kim  III wears No. 22 and plays cornerback while Kim IV wears No. 11 and plays safety. (Scott Purks, Special to the Times)
  5. Did Hurricane Irma speed the end of Florida orange juice?


    Hurricane Irma plundered Florida's orange belt, leaving a trail of uprooted trees, downed fruit and flooded groves worse than anything growers say they have seen in more than 20 years.

    A large number of oranges lie on the ground at the Story Grove orange grove in the wake of Hurricane Irma on Sept. 13, 2017, in Lake Wales. [Photo by Brian Blanco | Getty Images]