A man convicted of killing a gay couple in Florida flipped off ther family members in open court.
In November 2017, 32-year-old Peter Avsenew was convicted for murdering Kevin Powell and Steven Adams, a gay couple he met on Craiglist in 2010.
After Avsenew, who worked as an escort, was invited into their home in Wilton Manors, Florida, he killed them and stole their money, car and credit cards. The couple were later found shot to death and wrapped in blankets.
Against advice from Judge Ilona Holmes, Avsenew chose to defend himself at trial during his sentencing earlier this month. During his trial, the jury unanimously voted for the death penalty after Avsenew showed no remorse for the murder.
During his closing statements, he said: “My job here is simple. 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.”
He continued: “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.”
After receiving the news of his death penalty, Avsenew scratched his forehead with his middle finger. When asked about the gesture, he said: “It wasn’t to the jury – it was to the family.”
Marci Craig, Steven Adams’ sister, told ABC News 10: “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.”
She added: “I’m happy that he’s being put to the death penalty.”
Judge Holmes described the gesture as “unwise”. Avsenew hasn’t yet been formally sentenced and has since hired an attorney who is expected to present additional evidence at trial.
Avsenew is expected back in court tomorrow (January 26).