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Jury sentences Peter Avsenew to death for fatal shooting of Wilton Manors couple

Avsenew tells jury he has no regrets in life; flicks off victims' families

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A jury sentenced Peter Avsenew to death Thursday for killing a couple in Wilton Manors in 2010. 

Avsenew showed no reaction to the decision, as the victims' families nodded their heads in approval. 

He later flicked off the victims' families before they left the courthouse. 

"In my heart of hearts, I knew that he was making that gesture to us, and then he admitted that he made the gesture to our family," one of the victim's sisters, Marci Craig, said. 

"After what happened in that courtroom just now, I'm happy that he's being put to the death penalty," Missy Badget, whose brother was also murdered, said.  

Jurors spent Thursday morning hearing closing arguments from the state and the accused, who decided to represent himself. 

Avsenew's remarks to the jury were brief. 

He told the jurors he has no regrets in life, he's proud of every decision he's made in his life and that no one knows what really happened that night.

"My job here is simple. I don't have to prove anything to you as clearly the state's proven. All I have to do is be here and behave," Avsenew said. "It's up to you to decide life or death based on the information provided to you throughout this entire trial.

"I have no regrets in my life and I am proud of the decisions I've made. No one really knows what happened that day. Everyone can speculate what ifs and maybes until they're blue in the face, which they'll never really know."

Prosecutors ended their closing presentation by showing the jury photos from the scene and the gunshot wounds on the victims. 

Before Avsenew spoke to the jury, the judge in the case asked one final time whether he wanted an attorney, which he once again declined. 

Steven Adams and Kevin Powell were shot dead inside their Wilton Manors home in 2010.

Steven Adams and Kevin Powell were found shot to death inside their Wilton Manors home, their bodies wrapped in blankets, in December 2010.

Police said the couple took Avsenew in after answering a suggestive post on Craigslist.

Prosecutors said he killed the couple and stole their money, belongings and a car.     

The defense argued that Avsenew found the couple dead and he didn't call 911 because he'd been working for them as an escort.

The state said there was no proof to back up the claim. 

If jurors had decided to spare Avsenew's life, he would have been sentenced to life in prison.