Prostitute found guilty of killing gay couple in 2010

Peter Avsenew faces death penalty for murder of Wilton Manors men

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor, Derek Shore - Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A self-proclaimed prostitute was found guilty Thursday in the 2010 killing of two men he met on Craigslist.

Peter Avsenew was convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of Kevin Adams and Steven Powell.

"This is for him, because he would have fought for us, him and Kevin both," Marci Craig, Adams' sister, told Local 10 News after the verdict. "This is for Steve and Kevin."

Jurors spent hours Wednesday listening to testimony from Avsenew's mother and re-watching surveillance video of the three men shopping for a security system at Brandsmart USA.

The couple was found shot to death and wrapped in blankets in their Wilton Manors home on the day after Christmas in 2010.

Avsenew, a 32-year-old self-admitted prostitute, placed an advertisement on Craigslist and moved in with the couple weeks before their deaths.

The prosecution claimed during trial that Avsenew used the couple's credit cards and was found in possession of their car. Avsenew's defense attorney claimed that his client found them dead and then stole the items instead of calling police.

"He still has a grin on his face as of today," Missi Badgett, Adams' other sister, said. "How can you sit there and show no remorse?"

Avsenew's mother turned him in after he made suspicious statements to her.

"We pray for Peter's mom because she is really the one that allowed Steven and Kevin to have this justice," Craig said.

The jury was sequestered during deliberations.

In addition to murder, Avsenew was convicted on two counts each of armed robbery, grand theft auto, credit card fraud and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Avsenew faces the death penalty. He will be sentenced in January.

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