FORT WAYNE —
Palermo confronted Winder, 41, and his daughter, Angela Tate, in the lot. As Palermo and Winder fought, Tate hit Palermo in the back of the head with a reciprocating saw. The businessman suffered a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain, according to court documents.
Winder is charged with battery committed with a deadly weapon, theft, two counts of robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, and one count of being an habitual offender.
Tate, who admittedly was serving as her father’s lookout while he allegedly cut off catalytic converters, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a two-year suspended prison sentence for theft and resisting law enforcement. She testified Tuesday against her father as part of the conditions of her plea agreement.
During her testimony Tuesday, Tate varied from her previous statements to prosecutors – claiming on the stand that Palermo tackled her and pointed a gun at her. During her depositions, Tate said she had tripped and fallen of her own doing, according to evidence presented by Allen County Deputy Prosecutor Adam Mildred.
Catalytic converters, which contain precious metals that can be scrapped for cash, are a common target for thieves. Palermo testified he lost more than 100 of the devices in a two-year period, at a cost of $400 to $1,000 apiece to replace.
After Winder’s defense attorney, Randy Fisher, questioned Palermo about the scuffle between him and Winder, Mildred asked Palermo whether he knew his property was being taken.
“Absolutely,” Palermo testified.
“You were hit first,” Mildred asked.
“Yes,” Palermo answered.
The trial is expected to continue through Thursday.