Killer begging for death penalty halts sentencing to make bizarre requests to judge
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A killer who begged for the death penalty halted his sentencing to make a bizarre request to the judge.
For years, Steven Lorenzo fought the charges against him for the brutal 2003 murders of Jason Galehouse and Michael Wachholtz in Tampa, Florida.
But this all changed last December when, nearly two decades later, the 64-year-old pleaded guilty to drugging, torturing, raping and killing Galehouse and Wachholtz, both 26.
Co-defendant Scott Schweickert, who was also involved in the murders, is currently serving life in prison without the possibility for parole, having entered a plea deal to testify in exchange for avoiding execution.
Shocking courtroom footage from last week shows the moment Lorenzo requests to have a moment to thank everyone in court before once again giving his reasons for seeking the death penalty.
Lorenzo made a similar request earlier this month, arguing that he would be 'more comfortable' on death row.
In the latest hearing, the killer asked the judge to take 'five or seven minutes' of the court's time, although he was told to 'summarise it as quickly as possible'.
He proceeded to thank both his defence team and the state attorney, telling the latter that he has 'no animosity' against them.
"In this lifetime I'm the bad guy, you're a good guy," he said. "Maybe in the next lifetime the role will be reversed."
Lorenzo, who represented himself in the penalty phase, continued: "I'm seeking the death penalty. It's in my best interest, basically, because it's a comfort.
"I'll be living a lot more comfortable than I would in the federal system, living on death row, believe it or not.
"And, of course, that may sound selfish, but I've lived in a private cell for the last five years, and I'm going to have a private cell on death row.
"At my age, I want to be comfortable. I want my privacy."
Although Hillsborough County Judge Christopher Sabella ordered for the double murderer to be killed by lethal injection, it was at the request of the victims' loved ones – not for Lorenzo's own selfish desires.
While delivering the sentencing on Friday (24 February), Judge Sabella gave an impassioned statement in which he told the convict that he 'doesn't care' and 'will not consider' what he wants in issuing the punishment.
He went on to reference the testimony of Galehouse and Wachholtz's mothers, Pam Williams and Ruth Wachholtz.
Speaking of her desire for justice, Ms Wachholtz previously said: "An eye for an eye," while Williams told Lorenzo: "You are the scumbag of the earth."
With both women present for the killer's sentencing, Judge Sabella said: "The thing that was consistent in their testimony was that they have been waiting 20 years for justice.
"Today, that long wait ends."
He continued: "I sentence you Mr Lorenzo to death. That is the punishment that you deserve for these horrific crimes."