'These weren't the first and won't be the last,' Peter Avsenew writes of gay victims

Man convicted of killing gay couple in 2010 calls 'disgrace to mankind'

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A South Florida man convicted of killing a gay couple in Wilton Manors wrote a letter to a judge in which he called homosexuals a "disgrace to mankind" and said he doesn't regret what he did.

The vile, hand-scribbled letter from Peter Avsenew to Broward County Judge Ilona Holmes was written after a jury convicted him on two counts of first-degree murder last year.

In the letter, Avsenew seems to boast of fatally shooting Steven Adams and Kevin Powell inside their Wilton Manors home in 2010.

"It is my duty as a white man to cull the weak and timid from existence," Avsenew wrote. "I will always stand up for what I believe in and eradicate anything in my way. Homosexuals are a disgrace to mankind and must be put down. These weren't the first and won't be the last."

Avsenew expressed similar sentiments during a hearing Thursday.

"I wholeheartedly have nothing to lose and I'm going to take it out on everybody I can," he said. 

Avsenew fired his public defender and has been representing himself. A special counsel was appointed to present mitigating evidence during Thursday's Spencer hearing. 

A psychologist who reviewed Avsenew's records regarding his upbringing testified at the hearing, but Avsenew refused to be interviewed by the doctor or cross examine her in court.

Avsenew placed an advertisement on Craigslist and moved in with the couple weeks before their deaths. Prosecutors said he killed the couple and stole their money, belongings and a car.

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

"I must secure an existance (sic) for white people and a future for white children," Avsenew continued. "I regret nothing and am proud of every choice I've made in my life. … I will not ask for mercy and am not sorry."

Avsenew said there is no singular event to blame for his behavior. Instead, Avsenew wrote that he's "been like this for as long as I can remember."

The letter details how Avsenew started by killing animals -- "ducks, cats, frogs, snakes, squirrels, opossums, etc." -- before moving on because "they were too easy."

"I can't put into words the feeling of ending a life, it's euphoric at the least," Avsenew wrote.

Avsenew seems to challenge Holmes, who is considering a jury's recommendation for the death penalty.

"Do what you will," Avsenew wrote. "I fear nothing and am ready to continue my life's work. If you only knew how many there really are, you would faint."

Then, Avsenew left a disturbing parting phrase before signing his name: "No mercy."

"There's a lot of ways to interpret it," Avsenew's former attorney, Gabe Ermine, said. "Is he bluffing? Is it true? I don't know." 

Avsenew's sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 27.

About the Authors:

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.