Steven Lorenzo will use ‘sovereign citizen' defense
TAMPA (FOX 13) - It was a crime spree that had the gay community gripped in fear: Two partners, Steven Lorenzo and Scott Schweickert, accused of raping, torturing and killing Jason Galehouse and Michael Wachholtz.
Both Lorenzo and Schweickert were convicted on federal charges of drugging the men. And recently, Schweickert cut a deal with the state and plead guilty to their murders.
The death penalty was taken off the table in exchange for a life sentence and testifying against Lorenzo.
During the sentencing, Jason's mother Pam Williams did not hold back. "I don't even have a grave, a body, or a tombstone. I have the city dump with my son ground up like hamburger meat in the dirt, so I hope you’re satisfied; I hope you rot in hell.”
Months later, a grand jury indicted Lorenzo on murder charges. Now sources say Lorenzo plans to represent himself and claim to be a sovereign citizen -- that U.S. laws don't apply to him.
"It’s the new fad defense,” legal expert Anthony Rickman offered. “It’s you can’t prosecute me because I’m a sovereign citizen and I am a country of my own, therefore the laws of the state of Florida of the United States don't apply to me. But that’s just not true.”
The last time a defendant claimed to be a sovereign citizen, murder defendant Orin Bivens disrespected the judge and got thrown in jail.
Rickman says the sovereign citizen defense hasn’t work in the past and won’t work with Lorenzo.
"There is a famous saying: People who represent themselves have a fool for a client. It’s often not a good decision," added Rickman.