Confessed double murderer asks to be given death penalty instead of life sentence
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A double murderer has requested the death penalty instead of serving out a life behind bars.
Steven Lorenzo is currently on trial for the brutal 2003 deaths of Jason Galehouse and Michael Wachholtz.
For years, the 64-year-old fought the case. But this all changed in December last year when, nearly two decades since the double murder, he pleaded guilty to drugging, torturing, raping and killing Galehouse and Wachholtz, both 26.
In shocking courtroom footage from his sentencing hearing this week, Lorenzo begged for the death penalty:
What makes the clip even more disturbing is his reasoning for the plea, as he suggests he'll be 'more comfortable'.
On Monday (February 6), prosecutors asked Hillsborough County Judge Christopher Sabella to hand out the death sentence.
State Attorney Susan Lopez said: "The State of Florida stands before your honor today to humbly ask you to impose the ultimate, the harshest, the most severe punishment allowed by the laws of this state."
Lorenzo waived his right to a jury and is acting as his own attorney throughout the penalty hearing, where the judge will decide whether he faces life in prison or execution.
In a shocking move, he agreed with the prosecution's request, telling the judge: "I’m 64 years old. I could be on death row for 10, 15 years.
"The comforts that they get on the death row are a lot more comfortable than it is in the federal system.
"You get your own private cell, you get your own TV, you get your own computer, you get all this stuff."
In Lorenzo's opening statement, which was just five minutes long, he accused prosecutors of 'twisting the facts' of the case.
"They're twisting the facts, twisting it all around," he said. "And you know, that's their job to do it, that's fine.
"But I'm not going to counter it. Because I want this court to make me think I'm the worst thing on two feet."
One of the key witnesses in the trial is co-defendant Scott Schweickert, who is currently serving life in prison without the possibility of parole for his role in the murders.
The court was told that the two plotted to sexually assault and murder gay men through a series of online chats.
Schweikert, who entered a plea deal to testify in the case in exchange for avoiding the death penalty, said on Monday: "We already determined we worked well together using another individual.
"We wanted to see if we could go to the next step, which would be murder."
The trial is ongoing, with a verdict for Lorenzo's sentencing set to arrive by the end of the week.