Man who murdered a young baseball player released from prison…again

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WEST PALM BEACH, FL –Dave Shotkoski was trying to reenter Major League Baseball following the MLB Strike in 1995. 

Shotksoki was trying to find his way onto the Atlanta Braves Baseball team when he was gunned down by Neal Douglas Evans.

Evans, who has since been released from prison for the second time, found himself back behind bars after being released for the murder of Shotkoski.

Evans, who is now 55 years old, was convicted of killing Shotkoski almost twenty-six years ago in West Palm Beach, Florida.  Evans was initially paroled after serving only 17 years, but was arrested shortly after being released and sent back to prison.  He was given another second chance which did not last long, leaving him in prison until he was released on September 8th.

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Shotkoski’s widow, Felicia, said:

“I want him to have to live with this the rest of his life.  I don’t want him to forget.  Here’s a person who was given the chance to not be incarcerated and re-offended, and now he’s been given another opportunity.”

The murder happened on March 24, 1995, when Shotkoski was attending spring training, trying to make the roster of the Atlanta Braves.  Shotkoski had left training and gone for a jog when he ran into Evans.

During that jog, Shotkoski apparently encountered Evans who attempted to rob him.  During that robbery attempt, Evans shot and killed Shotkoski and fled the scene.

After hearing of the news, a teammate of Shotkoski’s, Terry Blocker, decided that he was going to help find out who killed his teammate.  Blocker says that he went into an area that was known for crime and was able to get information.

Blocker told The AJC that he waited in his vehicle at the scene of the murder and came across a man who he believed knew who killed Shotkoski.  Blocker was able to get Evans name and information and relayed that to police, who eventually arrested him for the murder. 

Evans, who has previously served five terms in prison for burglary, theft and drugs, confessed to the killing.  Evans claimed that he was trying to rob Shotkoski and killed him in the process.

Evans first court case, in which the penalty was death if convicted, received a hung jury.  Rather then retrying the case, Evans accepted a plea deal and was sentenced to 27 years in prison.

Shotkoski’s family thought that Evans would be in prison for the length of his sentence until they learned he was being released due to good behavior 10 years early. 

Shotkoski’s widow said at the time:

“He should have been in prison for 27 years to protect everyone that is still here.  I can’t change it.  But what I can try and do is protect other people from going through what we went through.  This is just plain wrong.”

 Felicia Shotkoski told WPBF News after Evans’ release:

“Someone who commits a crime and pleads for 27 years should be held responsible and accountable to serve their 27 years, period…Because, actually, this evening, your children or your husband, they’re a potential victim of a convicted murderer.” 

Evans was released in April of 2012, but his freedom did not last long.  Evans was back in prison eight months later and served a prison term until 2018 when he was released a second time.  That taste of freedom also did not last long, and he was placed back in prison in July of 2018.

The first week of September, Felicia Shotoski received notice that Evans was set to be released from prison again.  Felicia hopes that no one else is hurt by Evans, and that this situation will at least get people talking about needed changes in the criminal justice system. 

Felicia said:

“I just hope to bring change or start a discussion that something has to be done because it keeps happening to others.”

Man arrested 4 times in Portland riots. The city released him three times. Now the feds are stepping in.

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