Friday, November 24, 2017
News Roundup

Judge orders mental health evaluation for Steven Lorenzo in torture murder case

RECOMMENDED READING


TAMPA — Steven Lorenzo gave a Hillsborough County courtroom a peek Monday at what might be ahead as the state tries to prosecute him for two widely publicized Tampa murders.

For the second time, Lorenzo voiced what appeared to be a sovereign citizen defense, refusing to accept a court-appointed lawyer and dismissing the authority of the judge.

"These Bar association attorneys like you all belong to the same club," Lorenzo told Circuit Judge Mark Kiser. "I am the attorney of fact. The public record shows that. So you have no authority to issue anybody to represent me."

Adherents of the sovereign citizen movement typically shun the legitimacy of government and established laws.

But Lorenzo’s statements, and similar words he used at a hearing in September, prompted Kiser to express concerns about his competency to stand trial.

The judge appointed Dr. Michael Gamache, a psychologist, to evaluate Lorenzo’s mental health.

"I refuse," Lorenzo interjected. "I’m not going to talk to him. ... Do I have a contract with that doctor?"

Kiser said it was not Lorenzo’s decision to make and encouraged him to participate in the doctor’s evaluation. The doctor, the judge said, would ensure his rights are protected.

"You want to ensure my rights are not protected," Lorenzo said.

The judge told Lorenzo he would return to court Dec. 4.

Lorenzo chuckled.

"Whatever you say," he said. "It’s not going to work. But whatever you say."

PREVIOUS STORY: Steven Lorenzo appears in Tampa court, 13 years after torture murders

Kiser appointed attorney Nick Sinardi to serve as standby counsel for Lorenzo. An attorney for the Office of the Regional Conflict Counsel, which was previously appointed, withdrew Monday because the office had previously represented Scott Schweickert.

Schweickert admitted in a plea agreement last year that he helped Lorenzo kill Jason Galehouse and Michael Wachholtz in December 2003 at Lorenzo’s home in Seminole Heights.

According to the plea agreement, Schweickert said he and Lorenzo concocted a plan to meet single gay men and make them "permanent slaves."

They met Galehouse and Wachholtz on separate nights, lured each back to Lorenzo’s home, and engaged in rough sex with them before killing them, according to the agreement.

Schweickert said they dismembered Galehouse’ body with an electric saw, then discarded the body parts in trash bins throughout Tampa. Wachholtz’ body was found in his abandoned Jeep at an apartment complex.

Schweickert, who agreed to testify against Lorenzo, received a life sentence.

PREVIOUS STORY: Man sentenced to life for killing Tampa men he used as sex slaves

Lorenzo, 58, is already serving a 200-year federal prison sentence for giving GHB, a date-rape drug, to Galehouse, Wachholtz and seven other men. But it took the state more than a decade to assemble enough evidence to bring murder charges against him.

He faces the death penalty.

Contact Dan Sullivan at [email protected] or (813) 226-3386. Follow @TimesDan.

Comments
Jon Mott wins record fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

Jon Mott wins record fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

By BOB PUTNAMCLEARWATER — The Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot has long been a fixture on Jon Mott’s sporting calendar. Not even a 103-degree fever Tuesday could keep him away from the event, in its 39th year. Mott, a record four-time 10k champion, added ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Bucs players, coaches say they cherish getting game balls for special feats

Bucs players, coaches say they cherish getting game balls for special feats

TAMPA — In the jubilant moments after a Bucs win, Dirk Koetter will sometimes ask for a game-used ball from his equipment staff, hold it high in the locker room and present it to the player who was most crucial to the victory.NFL players can ask for ...
Updated: 6 hours ago

 
Updated: 7 hours ago

Updated: 7 hours ago
Woman killed in Largo motorcycle crash could ‘out-game any dude’

Woman killed in Largo motorcycle crash could ‘out-game any dude’

LARGO — Sydney Pender, 27, loved riding her motorcycle, even though she knew the dangers. Three years ago, her friend said, a delivery truck hit her. But she kept riding. On Thanksgiving, it was a crash with a taxi cab that killed her.Pender, a St. P...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Valrico intersection closed after car-sized hole opens in road

VALRICO — A hole the size of a vehicle opened up beneath the intersection of Nature’s Way Boulevard and Elm Grove Lane, Hillsborough officials said.The cause of the depression is unclear, but the intersection was blocked off to traffic.Hillsborough C...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Days after a high fever, Jon Mott wins his fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

Days after a high fever, Jon Mott wins his fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

CLEARWATER — On Tuesday, Jon Mott had a 103-degree fever. That was not enough to keep him from maintaining his dominance Thursday at the 39th Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot.The former Northeast standout added to his record with his fifth title in the ev...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Update: Mother, toddler hit by car in critical condition at TGH

TAMPA — A mother and one of her two small children who were hit by a car while trying to cross Dale Mabry Highway on Wednesday were still in the hospital on Thanksgiving, according to Tampa General Hospital.Cassandra Marie Spicola, 29, and 18-month-o...
Published: 11/23/17

Pasco County put under immediate tornado warning

The National Weather Service has put out a tornado warning for Pasco County. Thunderstorms capable of producing a tornado and strong winds are expected over Jasmine Estates, New Port Richey and Hudson until 1:15 p.m., according to the NWS warning. Ba...
Published: 11/23/17
Thanksgiving forecast: Rain today, but sunny skies this weekend

Thanksgiving forecast: Rain today, but sunny skies this weekend

It’s going to be a wet Thanksgiving across Tampa Bay, but sunny skies are coming during the long weekend, according to WTSP 10Weather meteorologist Ric Kearbey. 10News WTSPThe latest Tampa Bay-area radar 10...
Published: 11/23/17