August 30, 2009
St. Augustine, Florida (The Weekly Vice) - William Telano Evans, a 57-year-old Florida man who was on trial for the sexual battery of a child, killed himself Thursday just minutes before a jury declared him 'Not Guilty'.
According to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office, Evans was facing charges of sexually abusing a girl nearly three decades ago - and his trial had finally concluded when the jury indicated they had reached a verdict.
When the court came to order, Evan's attorney and wife were present, however Evans was nowhere to be found.
The judge presiding over the case became concerned and sent deputies to the man's home after instructing the jury to go ahead with their verdict. The decision? Not Guilty.
Evan's wife called ahead of deputies: "They found you not guilty, please don't do anything," however she was too late.
When deputies arrived at Evan's home, they found Evans dead of a gunshot wound.
During the trial, the issue was not a debate about IF Evans molested the girl - but rather WHEN the alleged sexual abuse took place. A letter was read in open court from Evans to the victim, whereby he admitted to being "overcome by selfish desire."
Under Florida law, sex crimes against victims under the age of 12 have no statute of limitations. If the victim was 12 years old or older at the time of the assault, the case would be defeated on a statute of limitations basis.
While the victim, now 38, claimed the abuse started when she was 9 or 10 years old, she had previously told investigators the abuse started when her mother had breast implants. Records indicate the breast implant surgery occurred in 1984 when the victim would have been 13 years of age.
The jury found that there was not enough evidence to support the claim she was under the age of 12 when the sexual assault occurred.
Within minutes of making this determination, it appears the years of litigation and wrangling over the issue resulted in a conclusion to the case no one suspected.
The Weekly Vice
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Posted by Danny Vice at 9:44:00 PM