Murder defendant seeks death penalty

Published Sept. 29, 1991|Updated Oct. 14, 2005

A man pleaded guilty to murder in the death of a man he described as a homosexual lover and told a judge he wanted to die for what he did. "I just feel I shouldn't be allowed to live for what I did," Anton Krawczuk told Lee Circuit Judge James Thompson.

Krawczuk gave details of the death last September of David Staker, 38, of North Fort Myers. He said he and a co-defendant, William Poirier, planned the robbery and murder a week before the killing.

Krawczuk reportedly told detectives he and Poirier had sexual relations with Staker before the slaying as well as the night of the murder.

Krawczuk, 32, said he started a mock fight with Staker on a bed. "I sat on top of him and strangled him to death."

Then the pair poured toilet cleaner down his throat and stuffed a rag in his mouth, he said. They robbed Staker's home and dumped his body in Charlotte County.

After Krawczuk pleaded guilty Friday to first-degree murder and robbery, he waived his right to have a jury recommend death or life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years. That leaves the decision solely to the judge.

Thompson scheduled a sentencing hearing in late October to determine if Krawczuk should receive the death penalty.

Krawczuk said he will offer no mitigating circumstances to indicate he deserves life imprisonment. Prosecutors, meanwhile, will be free to put on testimony and evidence that they believe shows Krawczuk should be sent to death row.

Poirier, 24, is scheduled for trial in late October.

Krawczuk "doesn't want to spend 25 years in prison. He doesn't think he would survive it," said his court-appointed attorney, Barbara LeGrande. She told the judge Krawczuk was going ahead with the plea against her advice.