TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Confessed killer Steven Lorenzo is asking for the death penalty.
He’s admitted drugging, sexually torturing and killing Jason Galehouse and Michael Wachholtz after first meeting them at the same Tampa nightclub in 2003.
Lorenzo is acting as his own attorney and admitted guilt in the case. He has also waved his rights to a jury trial.
On Monday, the death penalty phase of the proceedings began.
Hillsborough County State Attorney Susan Lopez gave the state’s opening statement.
“The murder of Jason Galehouse is the very definition of cold, calculated and premeditated,” Lopez said.
Lorenzo told the court his reasoning for asking for the death penalty.
“I’m 64 years old, it can take, I can be on death row for 10-15 years. The comforts that they get on 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 computer, you get all this stuff,” said Lorenzo, who insisted he will die in prison anyway, and he want to “go out on my own terms.”
On Monday, the state called two men to the witness stand who said they had met Lorenzo in a bar, and went home with him.
The men told the court how they had been drugged by Lorenzo without their consent and then tortured and raped by him.
Albert Perkins told the court he drank wine at Lorenzo’s home after first meeting him in a bar, but says the wine tasted funny.
After drinking the wine, Perkins says his vision became blurry and he passed out. When he woke up, Perkins says his arms and feet were bound.
“I had duct tape over my eyes and mouth,” Perkins recalled.
He says Lorenzo sexually tortured him for hours after that, but he managed to escape when Lorenzo fell asleep.
Another man described a similar occurrence.
The state says Lorenzo did the same thing to five other victims, and finally killed Galehouse and Wachholtz after similar nights of drugs and violent sex.
Lorenzo objects to the state’s version of events, but is still asking for the death sentence.
During Tuesday’s proceedings, the state called Ruth Wachholtz, the mother of Michael Wachholtz to the stand. There, she made her case for the state to move forward with the death penalty.
“An eye for an eye — it would be nice if we could have old-time justice,” Ruth said. “What he did to my son before he died, should be done to him.”
The state also called Pam Williams, the mother of Jason Galehouse, who also made her case for the death penalty. Williams said she waited 20 years to speak with Lorenzo.
“I want that man to get the death penalty and nothing less, period,” Williams said. “You are dirt underneath my fingernails and you do not deserve to be living.”
She added, “the closer he gets to the death penalty, the happier I’ll be.”
This is a developing story and will be updated.