UPDATE: Despite recent double homicide, Broward murder rate lowest in 20 years.

Police: Murder suspect knew Wilton Manors victims


Photo(right) is Peter Avsenew, the suspect in the Wilton Manors Couple murder (photo courtesy On Top Magazine)

While the Wilton Manors LGBT community was shocked by the double murder of Kevin Mark Powell and Stephen Duane Adams (see photo below) on Dec. 26, the entire Broward County community can take solace that the area experienced a sharp decline in the number of homicides in 2010, as compared to previous years.

According to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, 63 people had been killed in the county in 2010. The numbers in the county have declined the past three years, with 118 murders in 2007.

Of all the murders, 12 remain unsolved, including Powell and Adams. In the Powell and Adams murder, suspect Peter Serge Avsenew of Hollywood, Fla., has been arrested but not officially charged with the murders. He is currently being held on a probation violation while Wilton Manors police and Broward Sheriff’s officers continue to gather evidence and build a case against him. The victims were found dead by police in their home located in the 2500 block of NE Eighth Avenue in Wilton Manors. Powell and Adams were a couple and had been together for 29 years.

Avsenew, 26, was found driving Powell’s black 2003 Saturn Vue near Dundee, Fla., in Polk County. He was later arrested at a home in the area without incident. Police believe that Powell and Adams knew Avsenew, which causes doubt that the murders were the result of some random break in. Avsenew has an extensive police record in Florida, which includes a conviction for grand theft, engaging in fraudulent checks, vehicle theft and robbery. He has been taken into custody more than a dozen times since 2003 and uses at least eight different aliases.

As it pertains to the county’s other murders, Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti said that most people think that crime goes up when the economy is bad, but that is not always the case.

“The economy relates more to property crime,” Lamberti said. “Murder is a personal crime, so I don’t think [the economy] is a factor in the homicide rate.”

Murder rates have continued to drop all over Florida over the last couple of years, especially the large metropolitan areas.

“The significant decline in Florida’s crime rate represents the lowest rate in 39 years and is an encouraging indicator that our crime prevention efforts are working,” said Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.

According to the Sun Sentinel, the following Broward County murders still remain unsolved:

Kevin Manning, age unknown

He was shot during an argument outside his apartment in the 5900 block of NW 19th Street in Lauderhill on April 26. Police are looking for Shawn Edwards, 32, of Tamarac, who is a suspect.

Willie Charles Henry, 28

He was shot at Fort Lauderdale’s Middle River Terrace Park, 1350 NE Fifth Terrace, on May 8.

Trevor Gordon, 42

The first murder case in Margate in more than eight years, his body was found inside his girlfriend’s townhome in the 8000 block of NW 10th Court on June 5.

Rene Dujarric, 23

His body was found in a Miramar lake in the 2700 block of SW 128th Avenue on July 6. Miramar police are looking for Pedro “Peter” Isreal Ferrada as a person of interest in the killing.

Deanroy Miller, 26

He was shot in an alley behind Soba Tasty Restaurant, 2542 N. State Road 7, in Lauderdale Lakes on Aug. 7. A red or maroon Dodge Charger was seen in the area around the time of the shooting, Broward Sheriff’s detectives said.

Dave Montney

The Christ Church Fort Lauderdale member who often tried to help the homeless was killed in his apartment in the 2400 block of NE 10th Court in Pompano Beach on Aug. 13.

Alfred McMurray, 31

He was killed in his home in the 1300 block of NE 34th Street in Oakland Park on Aug. 30.

Rhoan Pryce, 33

He was shot at a house party in the 6200 block of NW 16th Street in Sunrise on Aug.

14. Police have identified Antwan Robert Mais, 18, of North Lauderdale, as a suspect.
Samuel Del Brocco, 60

The Washington, D.C.-area businessman was slain in his Pompano Beach part-year home in the 1700 block of Bay Drive on Sept. 12.

Kevin Walden, 21

Relatives found him dead in his car parked at the Crystal Lake apartment complex in the 4100 block of NW 21st Avenue on Oct. 27.

Gary McKenzie, 44

The flea market barber was slain in his home in the 2800 block of Huron Way on Nov. 5.

Raymond Adderly Jr., 33

The aspiring rapper who performed as “Nutzo” was shot in his Miramar home in the 2400 block of SW 83rd Avenue during a home invasion robbery Dec. 14.