By: Jada Williams
TAMPA, Fla. (WFTS) — This week, a Florida judge will decide if confessed double murderer Steven Lorenzo will spend life in prison or be sentenced to death.
Last December, Lorenzo pleaded guilty to drugging, torturing, raping, murdering, and dismembering Jason Galehouse and Michael Wachholtz in 2003.
Prosecutors have asked Hillsborough County Judge Christopher Sabella to sentence Lorenzo to death.
In court Monday, 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 has also asked for the death penalty, saying, “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.”
Defending himself, Lorenzo said he only wants to tell his version of events.
“It’s a false claim. They’re twisting the facts, twisting it all around. 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,” he added.
Nearly 20 years ago, on back-to-back nights, Jason Galehouse and Michael Wachholtz disappeared from a Tampa nightclub.
Co-defendant Scott Schweikert testified Monday about his involvement in the two disappearances.
“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,” Schweikert testified.
Schweikert took a plea deal in 2016 that gave him a sentence of life in prison. Lorenzo claims Schweikert’s account of the murders is wrong.
Lorenzo’s sentencing hearing is expected to go through the end of the week, but could wrap sooner.
This story was originally published Feb. 6 by WFTS in Tampa Bay, an E.W. Scripps Company. It has been edited by Court TV for clarity.