As this edition of SFGN goes to press, the 8-year-old murder case of partners Kevin Mark Powell and Steve Adams has been turned over to a Broward County jury for final deliberations on the guilt of the accused, Peter Serge Avsenew, now 34 years old.
The couple lived off of Wilton Drive, at 2513 NE 8 Avenue, when their bodies were uncovered just days before Christmas of 2010, sending shock waves through the city. It was not long afterward that Avsenew, a felon who had violated probation in two counties, was taken into custody and charged with the couple’s murder.
The trial revealed that Powell and Adams had befriended the alleged killer, whose checkered criminal history had included convictions for theft, fraud, and robbery. Nearly forgotten today, the accused killer has remained in custody for 8 years.
Adams and Powell, a gay couple that had been together for nearly 30 years, "were shot in the head and left to die,” stated prosecutor Shari Tate. She encouraged the jury to rapidly deliver such a verdict. He called himself a ‘stone’cold killer,’ Tate said, “and he was.”
Some of the most damaging testimony came from Avsenew’s own mother, who turned her son in after reading stories about the murder on SFGN’s website. Just after the murder, Avsenew returned to his home in Polk County with a stolen car. He was using his mother’s computer to search for information about a Wilton Manors murder.
His mother said he finally admitted to her that the car he drove from Broward to Polk County was stolen. When she checked her computer’s web search history, she found the article naming her son as a person of interest in the murders.
If convicted, an appeals court has granted the state the right to argue for the death penalty, as numerous aggravating conditions exist, opening the door for the ultimate penalty.