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Police often were called to home of Gulfport murder suspect

For seven years, Meredith Hochstetter and her husband have lived next to Patrick A. Evans, the former corporate executive accused of killing his estranged wife, Elizabeth K. Evans, and her friend Saturday.

Her overall impression: "There's been a lot of noise over there."

The disturbances were especially loud between Evans, 41, and his second wife, Andrea Evans, Hochstetter said. "She would sit out there and tell him that he made her skin crawl and she didn't want him to touch her and he made her sick."

Records confirm in rich detail how Evans' disputes with his second and third wives frequently led St. Pete Beach police officers to the door of his million-dollar waterfront home in Vina del Mar, mostly to mediate child custody disputes or arguments that arose over belongings during various divorce proceedings.

For those and other reasons, police visited the home 14 times in six years.

Hochstetter also revealed a compelling detail about the murders in which Elizabeth Evans, 44, and her friend, Jerry B. Taylor Jr., 43, were fatally shot at her Gulfport condo.

She said sheriff's deputies who showed up at her door about midnight Saturday told her the shootings were captured on the tape of a 911 call. The deputies were checking on neighbors as they prepared to arrest Patrick Evans at his home, she said.

Elizabeth Evans "never hung up the phone," Hochstetter said she was told. "(The tape) was still going when it happened."

Said Marianne Pasha, the sheriff's spokeswoman: "We're not discussing the contents of the 911 tape."

Patrick Evans, who goes by the name Rick, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to first-degree murder charges, said his lawyer, Frank W. McDermott of St. Pete Beach.

"His entire family is extremely distraught over this whole situation," McDermott said. "It's certainly a sad time for everyone."

McDermott said he still had much to discuss with Evans, who recently left Jabil Circuit, where he worked for 19 years as a highly paid executive. "There's a lot of issues we're going to have to go through and talk to our client about," he said, adding, "We have a huge battle ahead of us."

From July 2002 to January 2005, St. Pete Beach police had been to the Evans home nine times to mediate disputes between Patrick Evans and his second wife, Andrea.

After the 10th time, following a particularly nasty confrontation on March 7, 2005, Officer Jim Baugher wrote in his report: "This type of confrontation has had police at this home between these two parties numerous times." He referred to "an ongoing ugly divorce/child custody situation."

Police had been summoned that night after numerous 911 calls and found themselves in the middle of a "screaming match" between Patrick and Andrea Evans over visitation arrangements for their son, reports state.

The report mentions Elizabeth Weingarten, who then was Patrick Evans' girlfriend and later would become his third wife.

Elizabeth is said in the report to have called 911 and been caught up in the dispute between the ex-spouses. She told police she wanted to prosecute Andrea Evans for pushing her.

By early 2008, however, it was Elizabeth and Patrick Evans who were arguing and calling police to intervene.

In one report on June 30, Patrick Evans called police accusing Andrea Evans of harassing him and Elizabeth with phone calls and text messages.

Later, however, police talked to Elizabeth and Andrea, who said they were communicating with each other about Elizabeth wanting to leave Patrick Evans.

Elizabeth told police she and Andrea were "cordial with each other," and Andrea was helping her with her divorce from Evans.

Patrick Evans had not told police he had filed for divorce from Elizabeth Evans two months earlier.

A judge dismissed the divorce case in July after the couple agreed to counseling. But Elizabeth Evans filed for divorce Nov. 21, a month before her death.

In one report from Oct. 23, 2007, police say they arrested Patrick Evans for DUI and found "a loaded Glock handgun in the center console." The report said he did not have a concealed weapons permit and that the console also contained "20 rifle bullets and 14 .40 caliber bullets."

Officers confiscated the weapon, but Evans later picked it up after bonding out of jail.

On the morning of Jan. 18, according to reports, Elizabeth Evans showed up at police headquarters to report that Patrick Evans had sexually battered her.

She later declined to press charges but officers quoted her as saying the incident steeled her resolve to leave Patrick Evans.

Times staff writer Jamal Thalji contributed to this report.

Police often were called to home of Gulfport murder suspect 12/23/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 31, 2008 2:11pm]
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