Florida Supreme Court judges have tossed out a first-degree murder conviction involving a local double homicide.
Patrick Evans, now 48, was convicted in 2011 of killing his estranged wife, Elizabeth Evans and her boyfriend, Jerry Taylor in a neighborhood just outside Gulfport in unincorporated Pinellas County in December of 2008.
Evans was said to have shot both victims in the neck and was found guilty on two counts of first-degree murder; he was sentenced to death in 2012, according to court docket reports.
But in a 52-page ruling, judges decided there were mistakes in the trial and two pieces of evidence should not have been entered.
Judges ruled that the 911 recording that allegedly featured Evans should have not been admitted as Evans denied it was his voice. The presiding judicial officer, Richard A. Luce, allowed the prosecution to say it was his voice on the recording and entered it into evidence.
Another error occurred when the prosecution accused Evans of stalking his victims, but that evidence was obtained on heresy and was recently ruled that the conviction should be thrown out.
Evans will remain in jail until his new trial at a later date.
Patrick Evans was a former Jabil executive and had several run-ins with the law in the years leading up to the murder, including a DUI and several traffic violations including driving on a suspended license, reckless driving and speeding.