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Warlocks leader found not guilty of murder, mistrial declared on count

Published in 1%er News and All News


A Seminole County jury says David Maloney, the leader of the Philly Warlocks motorcycle gang, is not guilty of murder.

On Wednesday, Maloney was found not guilty on two counts of second-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder.

But Maloney will go back to court on May 14 on a count of attempted first-degree murder. The judge declared a mistrial on that count after the jury could not reach a verdict.

Maloney is the first of four men to stand trial for the 2012 shooting deaths outside a VFW hall in Winter Springs. He was initially charged with three counts of second-degree murder, but one of the counts was later dropped.

The jury returned a verdict around 11 p.m. after deliberating for approximately nine hours.

State and defense attorneys spent Wednesday morning delivering closing arguments in the case.

Prosecutor Stewart Stone told the jury to use common sense in reaching their verdict and weighing Maloney's claims of self-defense.

Stone spoke for about two hours, spending his first hour and a half telling jurors Maloney did not act in self-defense when he enacted his 20 years of military training outside the VFW Post 5405 on Sept. 30, 2012.

Stone argued instead of staying behind the safety of a metal door inside the VFW, Maloney opened fire outside.

"Call 911, like everyone in the bar was doing," Stone said, arguing that's what Maloney should have done. "I'm going to talk about that, because that's a concept foreign to Mr. Maloney. You hear gunshots, call 911 … and have his gun in his hand, ready for someone to come inside the VFW hall area, and then defend himself if he needed to. That would have been 'Stand Your Ground.'"

Maloney's attorneys wanted to use Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law as part of their defense, but the judge said they did not meet the burden of the law.

Defense attorney Michael LaFay said his client was in fear of his life because of threats made by the Florida Warlocks and an attempt on his life a year earlier.

"We heard the testimony of John Glazier. He told you what that man was like. They had one purpose, and that was to go over there and violently shut them down," said LaFay. "These are euphemisms: 'Shut 'em down,' that means to 'beat 'em,' 'hurt 'em,' 'kill 'em.' It's just a question of when."

The defense rested Tuesday after Maloney, himself, took the stand, saying the shooting was in self-defense.

Maloney testified he thought his life was in danger because the Florida Warlocks had previously kicked him out of their club.

But Maloney said he did not expect them to strike at a VFW hall because that was considered neutral ground.

Maloney admitted he could have called for help, but "I didn't know what was going on. So, how could I call 911?