More than 10 years after the murders of Michael Wacholtz and Jason Galehouse, suspect Scott Schweickert is now facing charges in their deaths. He had an arraignment in the Hillsborough County courthouse before Judge Ronald Ficarrotta on Monday morning.
During Monday's hearing, the judge appointed a new attorney to defend Schweikert, his previous public defender had a conflict. The new attorney, Byron Hileman, requested a 60 day waive to a speedy trial, in order to prepare. Hileman wants to investigate whether publicity will be an issue in seating an impartial jury.
In December 2003, Wacholtz and Galehouse vanished while they were at Tampa nightclubs one weekend. Galehouse's friend, Tyler, who only wants his first name used to protect his identity, remembers the heartbreak.
"We had nothing really to go on since we were told that nobody saw who he left with that night," Tyler said.
According to published reports, police found online chats between Lorenzo and Schweikert, the two talked about torturing men and making them disappear.
A year later, 39-year-old Scott Schweickert, of Chicago, made a shocking confession. He told police he and Steven Lorenzo met men at clubs, took them to Lorenzo's Seminole Heights home, drugged, and tortured them sexually. According to police, he also told them Lorenzo murdered and dismembered two men.
Lorenzo was convicted of drugging nine men with GHB, the date rape drug. He is serving 200 years in federal prison. Schweikert was convicted of giving GHB to Galehouse and Wacholtz, and is serving a 40 year sentence.
Neither was charged with murder, until recently.
The next pre-trial court appearance will be September 3, 2014.