Delibertions underway at trial of third Warlocks murder defendant

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~Three members of the Florida Warlocks were killed in a shootout two years ago~


 SANFORD – Jurors began deliberations late this afternoon at the third Warlocks motorcycle gang murder trial resulting from a shootout two years ago at the VFW hall in Winter Springs.

Robert "Willy" Eckert, 40, of Longwood is charged with three counts of second-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder.

He is one of four members of a breakaway Florida Warlocks biker club charged in the Sept. 30, 2012, shootout.
Each claims he acted in self-defense.

Members of Eckert's gang opened fire on five Florida Warlocks as they wheeled into the VFW parking lot. Three were killed.

Assistant State Attorney Stewart Stone on Friday told jurors that Eckert and three other rival gang members "waited to confront them with guns in their hands."

And it was one of Eckert's allies, Paul Wayne Smith, who started shooting first, Stone said.

But defense attorney Adam Pollack said Eckert was doing nothing more than defending himself.

Eckert told police he fired three times.

Ballistics tests show that his bullets killed no one. Still, prosecutors charged him with three counts of murder because he participated in a crime, they allege, that resulted in three deaths.

"(If) you participate in these kinds of events, you're going to be held responsible," Stone said.

Co-defendant David Maloney, 54, of Longwood, who was leader of the break-away group, was acquitted of murder two weeks ago, although, jurors were unable to reach a verdict on one attempted murder count. Prosecutors have not said whether they plan to retry him on that count.

Last week the trial of the second co-defendant, Victor Amaro, 43, of Winter Springs, ended in a mistrial. His bullets killed two of the victims. He's to be retried next month.

There is no trial date yet for the fourth co-defendant, Smith, 49 of Effingham, S.C., whose bullets killed one of the victims.

All of the co-defendants say they acted in self-defense.

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