TAMPA, Fla. — The confessed killer in a notorious decades-old Tampa double murder is set to be sentenced.

The penalty phase started Monday in the Steven Lorenzo trial.

What You Need To Know

  • Penalty phase to start in trial of Steven Lorenzo

  • Lorenzo is the confessed killer in a Tampa double murder case from 2003 

  • Jason Galehouse and Michael Wachholtz were murdered in 2003

  • Steven Lorenzo had fought murder charges for years but now has pleaded guilty

Hillsborough Circuit Judge Christopher Sabella accepted a guilty plea from Lorenzo in December. Lorenzo said he wanted to plead guilty and be sentenced to death. 

Lorenzo had long denied killing Jason Galehouse and Michael Wachholtz inside his Seminole Heights home in 2003. The case has gripped Tampa’s LGBTQ community as it's played out over nearly two decades.

But now, in a handwritten note, Lorenzo wrote that he wanted to withdraw his not-guilty pleas and be sentenced to death. He told Sabella he wanted to change his plea because he believes the end result will be the same, regardless of a trial.

Sabella will decide whether or not to rule in favor of the death penalty.