GULFPORT — Early Sunday, Pinellas County sheriff's detectives picked up a St. Pete Beach man at his million-dollar waterfront house to question him about the violent deaths of his estranged wife and her friend the night before.
By 10 a.m., Patrick A. Evans, 41, was charged with the first-degree murders of his wife, Elizabeth K. Evans, 44, and her friend, Gerald Bruce Taylor, 43. Both had been shot once in the neck, according to Marianne Pasha, spokeswoman for the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. Elizabeth Evans died instantly; Taylor was pronounced dead shortly after at Palms of Pasadena Hospital.
Patrick Evans, of 333 Hermosita Drive, was booked into the Pinellas County Jail, where he was held without bail.
"It appears to be domestic-related,'' Pasha said. "From what we've heard, the separation has been rocky.''
Evans is listed on the Jabil Circuit Web site as the vice president, global business units, but it was not clear if he is still employed there.
He and Elizabeth Evans, a marketing manager for Tech Data, had been married for three years. When the couple separated about eight months ago, Elizabeth Evans moved to the Sun Ketch condominiums at 6080 Gulfport Blvd. S, behind the 14th hole of the Pasadena Yacht & Country Club. She lived there with her teenage daughter, Molly Rhoades, a student at St. Petersburg Catholic High School, and the family's two pet Yorkies.
"She was very helpful,'' Julian Weingarten, 71, said of Elizabeth, his daughter.
"She volunteered in various schools. She was fun-loving. She could break out into song at any time.''
Elizabeth Evans' marriage to Patrick Evans, however, had been hard, her father said. She had been trying to free herself, he said.
"He's a bad man,'' Weingarten said. "He's a controlling kind of guy. I've heard him yell at his own mother. He treats everybody (badly).''
It was Patrick Evans' third marriage and Elizabeth Evans' second. The couple had no children together.
Weingarten said at the time of the killings, Molly was visiting her father in Pennsylvania. He said her friends started to text message her that there was police activity at her home. Molly's father called authorities, who told him about the double homicide.
Sheriff's officials released little information about Taylor, who lived at 12112 San Chaliford Court in Tampa. Investigators said he and Elizabeth Evans had only recently started dating.
Before Sunday's charges, Patrick Evans' criminal record contained only a DUI arrest in October of last year.
On Sunday afternoon, Terry Dunham was having a hard time shaking the memory of the night before. He had been enjoying a quiet evening at his Gulfport condo when he was startled by a loud bang about 6:45 p.m.
At first he thought someone had hit the side of the building with a rock or a golf ball.
But now he knows it was the sound of his next-door neighbor and her friend being killed about 20 feet away inside Unit 6080.
He met her several times while she walked her dogs and he thought she seemed nice.
Her landlord, Gary Hanson, said Elizabeth Evans was a good, friendly tenant.
"I think you'll find she was well liked,'' he said.
Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this story. Eileen Schulte can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 445-4153.