A Florida man who has admitted killing his “evil” neighbor for allegedly bullying him now wants to be put to death for the crime, saying it’s a “win-win” for all parties.
Qiu Feng Ke, 61, of Holiday, told deputies in Pasco County in January that he had plotted the murder of Edward Tudor, 37, for a “long time” and had no regrets about shooting his next-door neighbor in the head as he was pleading for his life on Jan. 23.
Ke, according to a complaint affidavit obtained by The Post, had his will notarized prior to the killing with the intention of hanging himself afterward. Ke later said during a jailhouse interview that he lost sleep for the past two years from incessant noise from Tudor’s home and that Tudor would regularly victimize him with “adult bullying” that he could no longer tolerate.
“I think he’s evil, that’s what I think,” Ke told WFTX. “ … I couldn’t let this thing go away because I don’t want him to get his way. The bullying, the bullying thing. I don’t want him to win, to get his way.”
In a letter to a judge last week, Ke expressed his desire to plead guilty to the killing, but only if she imposed the death penalty, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
“Death sentence is a win-win for every side involved in this case,” Ke wrote Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Mary Handsel.
Under that arrangement, Ke said, Tudor’s relatives would get the closure they deserve, attorneys on both sides of the case would “save time” and Handsel wouldn’t be subjected to overseeing a jury trial — not to mention the savings to taxpayers.
Ke, for his part, said he would get “what I deserve,” he said.
“A life for a life,” he wrote. “I’ll not appeal, etc.”
Under state law, however, only juries can recommend a death sentence — and that’s limited to instances when prosecutors seek the death penalty, which Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe has indicated he will not.
A judge on Friday agreed to allow Ke to represent himself at trial, despite no previous legal experience. Ke, who has a master’s in computer science, faces up to life in prison if convicted.
Ke told deputies he went to Tudor’s house with two loaded handguns and two additional magazines with the intention to kill him. Ke opened the man’s front door and walked in to “surprise” Tudor and shot him once. Tudor was then shot several more times on the front lawn outside his home after asking Ke why he was attacking him.
Charles Rose, a professor of law at Stetson University College, told the Tampa Bay Times that Ke’s request essentially was an attempt to commit “suicide by judicial process.” Rose said he saw only three possible motivations for Ke’s letter, including a true desire to die, mental health issues or an attempt to gain notoriety or complicate the case for prosecutors.
The letter appears to be more an effort by Ke to seek attention than “trying to achieve a speedy death,” Rose told the Tampa Bay Times.
“This could be one of those instances in which the prosecutor, to some degree, is stepping in to save the defendant from themselves,” Rose said.