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Slaying victim's daughter identifies defendant's voice in 911 recording

LARGO — Molly Rhoades dabbed her eyes, breathed deeply, and reached for a paper cup of water.

Then she closed her eyes as she sat in the witness stand, listening to the 911 recording of her mother's slaying.

Her eyes stayed closed as the recording went on, and a man said "sit on the bed" and a woman yelled "help," and a gun fired two shots, one of which killed her mother.

And then, when a prosecutor asked Rhoades to identify the male voice that said, "sit on the bed,'' she said it belonged to Patrick "Rick" Evans.

Testimony continued on Thursday in the murder trial against Patrick Evans, a former Jabil Circuit vice president accused of murdering his wife, Elizabeth K. Evans, 44, and her friend Jerry B. Taylor, 43.

Rhoades, 20, a university student, testified Thursday about the 911 recording that inadvertently became a key piece of evidence.

But the recording came under attack Thursday after it was discovered that an excerpted version of it was played earlier in court.

Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Richard Luce said "the original, in my opinion, should have been played in its entirety."

Just before the shooting, a sheriff's dispatcher called the condo and ended up recording the killing. The recording captured a man saying "get on the bed" and another saying "put the gun down," and also a woman pleading for help and asking, "Are you out of your f - - - - - -?"

And then two gunshots.

On Thursday, it was discovered that the recording played in court actually had a portion excerpted out. The edited part appears to have been dead air, with no one saying anything.

Sheriff's public safety dispatcher Leslie Perrico was brought back into court Thursday to hear the full version of the recording, and said it was essentially the same as the first version except for "about five or six minutes of dead air."

But defense attorney David Parry said the excerpted recording changes how the jury will understand what happened —for one thing, the excerpted tape makes it seem that deputies arrived much sooner than they did.

Parry asked for a mistrial, but Luce did not immediately make a ruling.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Evans.

Slaying victim's daughter identifies defendant's voice in 911 recording 11/03/11 [Last modified: Thursday, November 3, 2011 11:03pm]
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