Florida police have captured a man driving the stolen vehicle of the Wilton Manors gay couple they suspect he murdered on Christmas weekend.
Peter Serge Avsenew, 26, was captured near Dundee, Fl., miles away from where police said he murdered Kevin Mark Powell and Stephen Adams on Sunday. The couple was found dead in their home by police. Avsenew, who is from Hollywood, was spotted by cops in Powell’s black 2003 Saturn Vue.
Police have not yet revealed how the victims died and have not speculated publicly on what relationship the suspect may have had with them. The victims had been together for 29 years.
UPDATE: Avsenew has an extensive criminal history. At the time of his capture, he was already wanted on a probation violation in the Keys.
Across the state, Avsenew has been taken into custody more than a dozen times since 2003, state records show. He has been convicted of vehicle theft, robbery, grand theft and engaging in fraud through bounced checks. He also has pleaded no contest to marijuana possession, loitering, possession of drug paraphernalia, criminal mischief and resisting an officer without violence. Avsenew also relies on about eight different aliases, including the name Peter Avsenen, according to the state Department of Corrections.
According to Avsenew’s Facebook page, he has a newborn son. Below a recent posting of the boy’s photo, a woman with the same last name (probably the suspect’s mother) warns: “Peter, Look at these pictures does this baby deserve anything but the best? then think before you do anything stupid.”
South Florida Gay News reports that a gay couple was found murdered in their Wilton Manors home this weekend.
The two men whose bodies were found inside their rented home at 2513 NE 8th Avenue in Wilton Manors were domestic partners Kevin Mark Powell, 47, and Steve Adams, 52, former residents of Hollywood, Florida. Their bodies were discovered by the sister of one of the victims, who had called police when her brother had not arrived to her home for the holidays. Kevin Powell had been very ill with Diabetes and she was doing a wellness check. Powell, whose hobby was arts and crafts, had once been featured on the Home and Garden channel after creating a home for his dogs within his home, including pet sized lighting and furniture.
Wilton Manors police are seeking the couple’s missing car. JMG readers who may have information about the couple should call detectives at 954-390-2150.
“Folks, it looks like political correctness has scored another victory at the expense of morality and religious freedom. In-your-face homosexuality will soon be given the green light in our armed forces. What’s next? A pedophile platoon? A bestiality battalion? A man-boy-love marching band? Let’s bring ‘em all out of their dark little closets and onto the battlefield—with special benefits and treatment to help them feel good about themselves, of course! [snip]
“So hold on tight, as America slides even further into the abyss of political correctness, while homosexual soldiers worldwide prepare for a colossal coming out party at taxpayer’s expense. Oh, yeah, there’ll be federal dollars wasted on this nonsense—can’t wait to see the price tag on that. and all of this hoopla so that soldiers who like to have sex with those of their same gender can display pictures of and coo over their same-sex lovers’ photos, as if that makes them “normal” to the rest of us. (Nah, we’ll just wait until you leave the room and gag.) – Naples Daily News blogger Pamela Grothaus.
Mixner on yesterday's DADT fail: "Why don't we add it as an amendment to the President's compromise keeping the Bush Tax Cuts and let us filibuster until it is added and passed! Let the Republicans explain to the CEO's why their hatred of the LGBT community is holding up their tax breaks. Let's give them hell. Let's fight back and not roll over one more time and take another blow to our dignity and honor."
Equality Florida report sees shift in favor of equality: “A great deal of work remains, but Floridians can be proud of the progress in our state over the past decade,” said Nadine Smith, executive director for Equality Florida. “This report demonstrates that while political winds may shift during an election cycle, the long-term trend in Florida is strongly in favor of fairness and equality for everyone, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.”
Prince Charles and Camilla's car attacked by student protesters: "Camilla was prodded in the ribs with a stick through the open window of their Rolls-Royce as she and Charles were driven to the Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium. One of the vintage car's windows was left open by mistake before the vehicle was surrounded by a snarling mob of rioting students and activists."
LOGO gives the green light: "In addition to 'Be Good Johnny Weir,' the network has greenlit 'Pretty Hurts,' from Go Go Luckey Productions, a comedic reality series that follows the staff and clients of a high-end Beverly Hills medical office that specializes in 'liquid face lifts.' The other series is 'Setup Squad,' a workplace docu-soap from Leftfield Pictures ('Pawn Stars') focused on a Manhattan-based matchmaking service that pairs up professional "wing people" with those that are unlucky in love."
U.S. poised to indict Julian Assange on spying charges? "Though he appears to have committed no crime in the States, the administration is under enormous pressure to find some way of punishing the Australian for unleashing a stream of diplomatic embarrassments on to the internet."
Scientists engineer mouse from two fathers: "This was done by engineering females with eggs containing only chromosomes from a father. Mating added genes from a second father."
Special Counsel for Focus on the Family James Bopp Jr. files suit in Iowa to halt nomination process for Supreme Court judges: "Rob Hogg, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids who is a lawyer and vice chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee decried Republican judicial activism. 'This lawsuit clearly is part of a right wing ideological campaign through an out-of-state lawyer to screw up our courts,' Hogg told the Des Moines Register."
The Florida Family Association claims it got Kodak to drop sponsorship of Teen Nick's DeGrassi: The Next Generation after pressuring the film and tech giant to abandon the show because it features a transgender character. Kodak responds: Uh, no, that's not what happened at all, you dumbasses.
Although it’s cloudy and rainy on this election day throughout Florida, the elections in the Sunshine State are red hot. There is so much electricity in the air after weeks of hard work and a rally in the state last night with President Bill Clinton. Thousands attended the event as they prepared to vote today. Many of the rally participants grabbed yard signs and stickers in hopes of influencing their neighbors or anyone they walk past.
After traveling throughout the state, I’m pleased to have worked with so many pro-equality campaigns that have been endorsed by HRC. Within every campaign, I connected with other supporters of equality. Working to mobilize HRC members and working directly for pro-equality campaigns, I have been met with open arms at every turn. Volunteers, some having gotten very little sleep after last night’s rally, are out canvassing and phone banking today to make sure people get out of their houses to vote.
Here in Florida, the polls close in just a few minutes. We have been hard at work for weeks and we glad to see Election Day come.
The following post comes from Regional Field Organizer Jess Osborn. Jess is just one of 30 HRC staff that will be on the ground in 16 states by Election Day, working with HRC-endorsed candidates and engaging our membership about the upcoming elections:
The last couple weeks have been an amazing success for the HRC’s volunteer effort. Last week, an HRC phonebank here in Florida had seventeen volunteers come out to dial up HRC members about the upcoming elections. Seventeen! No doubt a record for an HRC Phonebank. The volunteers at this phonebank, and each phonebank we hold here in Florida, are working hard to ensure that people have everything that they need for Election Day, and that they are fully aware of their pro-equality candidates in these elections.
Volunteers for this record-breaking phonebank included a member of the HRC Steering Committee here in Orlando, young college students from local schools and the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) from the University of Central Florida (UCF). AMSA turned out ten volunteers and made a big contribution to this phonebank. It is so inspiring to see young people getting involved in the elections, and doing everything that they can to push for equality this election. Young people are our future and it is crucial that we encourage and educate the future leaders (and the future voters) of America.
This phonebank is just one of the many events that we are taking part of down here in Florida, in the last few weeks, I have been all around the state, doing everything in my power to reach out to our membership and to get the word out about pro-equality candidates. Whether it rallying with members and volunteers in Orlando(with Former President Bill Clinton!), hitting the ground canvasing or setting up our table at Revolution Nightclub to talk to young voters, I am honored to be a part of the exciting work that is going into this year’s elections. Thanks to all of amazing volunteers that have made all of our work possible. Let’s keep up the momentum through election day and keep equality moving forward.
"Florida's 33-year-old policy barring gay people from adopting ended today as the state Attorney General Bill McCollum opted not to appeal last month's ruling striking down the ban. The governor and the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) had already announced that they would not appeal the decision. Today was the final day that the attorney general could have independently acted to appeal the ruling. The appellate court ruling arose in an American Civil Liberties Union legal challenge to the ban on behalf of Martin Gill, who wanted to adopt two foster children he and his partner have been raising for almost six years."
"The constitutionality of the Florida law banning adoption by homosexuals is a divisive matter of great public interest. As such, the final determination should rest with the Florida Supreme Court, not a lower appellate court. But after reviewing the merits of independently seeking Supreme Court review, following the decision of our client the Department of Children and Families not to appeal the decision of the Third District Court of Appeal, it is clear that this is not the right case to take to the Supreme Court for its determination. No doubt someday a more suitable case will give the Supreme Court the opportunity to uphold the constitutionality of this law."
“Since Sept 22nd, Florida’s ban on gay people adopting has been over. We are pleased to learn that Attorney General Bill McCollum has decided not to squander more taxpayer dollars and muddy the waters on a matter the courts have decided unanimously. We continue to celebrate the end of a ban that has literally torn families apart and denied children permanent loving homes for over 33 years. The courts have been clear that this ban is irrational and puts anti-gay prejudice ahead of the needs of children.”