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Ex-Jabil Circuit VP goes on trial in Gulfport killings of wife, friend

LARGO — He was the Fortune 500 executive with a six-figure salary, assignments in China and Malaysia, a private plane, a Corvette, a million-dollar waterfront home.

This week he looks just as important, dressed in a well-cut suit, sporting a new haircut, blending in perfectly with the carefully groomed lawyers who surround him.

But only two things remain on Patrick A. Evans' to-do list: stay out of prison and off death row.

Evans, 44, went on trial this week based on accusations that he shot and killed his estranged wife, Elizabeth K. Evans, 44, and her friend, Jerry B. Taylor, 43.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

In opening statements Tuesday, Assistant State Attorney Christopher LaBruzzo told jurors about a unique and key piece of evidence that will persuade them to find Evans guilty.

"Ladies and gentlemen, it is rare in cases in America where a murder is actually captured on a 911 call," LaBruzzo said.

But that's what happened in this case: Someone called 911 from Elizabeth Evans' Gulfport condo just before the murder and did not hang up the phone, creating an audio recording that will be played for the jury.

LaBruzzo said Evans, a former Jabil Circuit vice president, and his wife, Elizabeth, had been having marital difficulties. He filed for divorce, changed his mind, then she filed for divorce. Evans knew that on Dec. 20, 2008, she was planning to go on a date with Taylor.

Evans came to the Gulfport condo with a handgun, LaBruzzo said, and told his wife: "Sit on the bed."

Elizabeth Evans said no. Taylor said "put the gun down," LaBruz­zo said.

LaBruzzo told jurors: "Boom, you will hear a gunshot, a single shot, close range, striking Mr. Taylor in the throat."

After witnessing her friend get shot, LaBruzzo said, "Elizabeth Evans says, 'Are you out of your f- - - - - -' Boom, second shot."

But the 911 recording isn't the only evidence. LaBruzzo said police determined Evans owned a Glock handgun. They matched shell casings fired from his gun to those fired at the crime scene.

Evans' defense attorney, David Parry, did not make an opening statement Tuesday, but said he might later.

After the shootings, Evans was stopped by sheriff's deputies and brought in for questioning.

A recording was made of that conversation, though it may not be played for the jury.

The trial resumes today.

Ex-Jabil Circuit VP goes on trial in Gulfport killings of wife, friend 11/01/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 4:42pm]
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