Convicted killer Peter Avsenew was sentenced to death in a Florida courtroom at the unanimous recommendation of the jury that convicted him. Yesterday, Broward Circuit Judge Ilona Holmes upheld the jury’s sentence and ordered his execution.
Avsenew, 32, was convicted of murder in the 2010 deaths of Kevin Mark Powell, 47, and Stephen Adams, 52, in Wilton Manors, a city near Ft. Lauderdale with a large LGBT population. Prosecutors said Avsenew used Craigslist to get invited to the victims’ home and then killed and robbed them, leaving with their money, a car, and other belongings.
During the sentencing hearing, he opted to defend himself instead of letting his lawyer present arguments. He expressed no regret and did not ask the jury to spare his life.
“I have no regrets in my life and I am proud of the decisions I’ve made,” he told the court.
Minutes after the sentencing, he flipped off the victims’ families.
“After what happened in that courtroom just now, I’m happy that he’s being put to the death penalty,” one of the victim’s sister, Missy Badget, said.
And in a chilling handwritten note sent to the judge after sentencing, Avsenew continued his lack of remorse.
“It is my duty as a white man to cull the weak and timid from existence. I will always stand up for what I believe in and eradicate anything in my way,” he wrote. “Homosexuals are a disgrace to mankind and must be put down. These weren’t the first and won’t be the last.”
Avsenew is the first person sentenced to die after a law was passed requiring a unanimous jury for a death sentence. The date of execution has not been set.