Man sentenced to death after torturing and murdering gay men he lured to his home: ‘Eye for an eye’
A Florida man who admitted to torturing and murdering two gay men in 2003 has been sentenced to death.
63-year-old Steven Lorenzo pleaded for judge Christopher Sabella to give him the death sentence after pleading guilty to two counts of murder.
“That is the punishment you deserve for these horrific crimes,” Sabella responded in a sentencing hearing after handing him the death sentence.
Lorenzo was convicted of luring Jason Galehouse and Michael Wachholtz, both 26, to his home in Tampa where he tortured and killed them.
He committed the crimes alongside Scott Schweickert, who pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in 2016.
After initially pleading not guilty, Lorenzo filed a 147-page letter in November 2022 requesting the death penalty for his crimes due to the “comforts they get on death row.”
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“I don’t really care, it doesn’t bother me, because the defence wants the death penalty,” he wrote.
“The defence is saying, ‘Yes, give me the death penalty, that is absolutely great.'”
During testimony, Schweickert detailed the horrific murders, saying that he and Lorenzo had been planning to lure unsuspecting gay men from a local bar and “killing [them].”
After killing Galehouse, Lorenzo and Schweickert both worked to dismember the body and stuff it into construction bags, which were taken to random locations in Tampa.
His remains have yet to be found at the time of reporting.
Hillsborough state attorney Susan Lopez described Lorenzo’s actions as the “very definition of cold, calculated, and premeditated.”
Jason Galehouse’s mother, Pam Williams, said she wanted Lorenzo to receive the death penalty during trial testimony.
She called Lorenzo “the scumbag of the Earth” while berating him for feeling “no remorse” for his crimes.
“I don’t have a grave, I don’t have a tombstone, all I got is ground-up hamburger meat in the ground because of you, you scumbag.
“That’s exactly what you are. You should be dead already as far as I’m concerned. You put me through holy hell.”
Both Lorenzo and Schweickert reportedly killed Michael Wachholtz shortly after their first murder, according to testimony.
Wachholtz’s body was found weeks after his murder, wrapped in a sheet and stuffed in the back of a car in a nearby car park.
Speaking at the trial, Ruth Wachholtz, Michael’s mother, agreed that the death penalty was appropriate.
“What he did to my son before murdering him should be done to him, eye for an eye,” she said.
“For 20 years he lived, and Michael hasn’t,” she continued. “It’s time to end this.”
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