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Murderer of gay couple raises middle finger to family after death penalty decision

“I have no regrets in my life and I am proud of the decisions I’ve made. No one really knows what happened that day."
Photo credit:
Karen Neoh -- Flickr

The murderer of a gay couple in Ft. Lauderdale raised his middle finger to their family in the courtroom after the jury came back and suggested the death penalty.

Peter Avsenew was found guilty of the 2010 double homicide of couple Kevin Mark Powell and Stephen Adams. According to court reports Avsenew met the couple through Criagslist, murdered and then robbed them of their car and money.

The killer did not seek representation in the sentencing hearing according to LGBTQ Nation opting to defend himself instead.

“My job here is simple,” he said. “I don’t have to prove anything to you as clearly the state’s proven. All I have to do is be here and behave. It’s up to you to decide life or death based on the information provided to you throughout this entire trial.”

“I have no regrets in my life and I am proud of the decisions I’ve made. No one really knows what happened that day. Everyone can speculate what ifs and maybes until they’re blue in the face, which they’ll never really know.”

The jury eventually decided on the death penalty after only two hours of deliberation.

Once that recommendation was handed down, Avsenew raised his middle finger only a few minutes later.

Marci Craig, the victim’s sister said, “In my heart of hearts, I knew that he was making that gesture to us, and then he admitted that he made the gesture to our family.”  

The sister of the other victim, Missy Badget, was glad the jury came to their decision “After what happened in that courtroom just now, I’m happy that he’s being put to the death penalty.”

The judge will most likely take the vulgar gesture into consideration when he hands down his ruling and punishment.

During the trial Avsenew’s attorneys said their client did not kill Powell and Adams, but called 911 after discovering them already dead. He claims he arrived at the house as an escort.

But prosecutors say there is no evidence that Avsenew was an escort and he fled to his mother’s house soon after saying he had done “something worse than ever before.”

His mother feared for her life because he became increasingly aggressive. “Peter has chased me with a Samurai sword,” Jeanne Avsenew told the court. “Peter has had a gun, had a shotgun with my name on the bullet.”

She eventually turned her son into police.

Adams and Powell met at Cleveland Pride in the early 80’s.

You can see the full news report by clicking HERE.