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Florida man writes letter from jail to judge explaining why he deserves death penalty

Posted: 10:52 PM, Mar 19, 2018
Updated: 2018-03-19 23:13:11-04

WARNING: The following story is graphic in nature, reader discretion advised.

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida man who confessed to murdering his neighbor execution-style has written a letter from jail to a judge requesting he receive the death penalty. 

Qiu Feng Ke, 60, was arrested in January after he shot and killed Edward Tudor following an ongoing dispute between the two neighbors. The arrest report detailing a cold-blooded execution-style murder.

Related: 

Sheriff: Gunman confesses to execution-style murder of his next door neighbor

Florida man accused of execution-style murder of his neighbor explains why he did it

Last week, Ke sent a letter to Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Mary Handsel, explaining that he would plead guilty to Tudor's first-degree murder, but only if she would impose the death penalty. 

In his letter, he describes a death sentence as a "win-win for everyone":

In the letter, Ke wrote:

"The death sentence in this case is justified by the following:

  • I used a deadly weapon for the crime
  • I had two hand guns with me when committing the crime, i.e. .22 and 9mm
  • I used 9mm with the intent to kill, not just to wound
  • Instead of one bullet to the victim's head to instantly finish him, relatively painlessly, I shot him twice in the body before putting the last bullet into his head
  • There were a few minutes lapsed between two shots to the victims' body, while he was kneeling down, stretching his hand out as if he was trying to block the bullet, and pleading, "what did I do?" repeatedly, which indicates the special circumstances that this crime was carried out in a heinous and cruel manner
  • I could have easily killed another person... had I been able to find her in the crime scene house that day."

In the letter, Ke notes that he has been evaluated by a psychiatrist who found that he is very confident and fit to stand trial, according to his public defender.

Ke has also chosen to represent himself in the case, asking for a speedy trial.

The problem with Ke's request is that under a new Florida law passed last year, a death penalty conviction can only be granted by a jury, through a unanimous decision. And that's only if the prosecution plans to seek the death penalty.

Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe told Tampa Bay Online , that they do not plan to pursue capital punishment. 

"I made an evaluation on this case, and without considering what he wants, just looking at the facts of the case," McCabe told TBO , "I did not feel that it was one where we should file a notice to seek the death penalty."

Instead, Ke faces life in prison if convicted.