Posts Tagged ‘Steve Powell’

Big news this morning: 84 previously-sealed documents dealing with the disappearance of Susan were unsealed and released to the public. The news is just now coming out, so more details on the documents, as well as the documents themselves, will be released later today.

Thanks go to the Salt Lake Tribune for getting these documents released to the public.

So far the story is up on the following news sites:

FOX-13 News, Salt Lake City, who had this to say:

“The documents also reveal that the oldest Powell child told investigators that Susan did go on the infamous camping trip, but he told detectives [his] mother decided to stay at the campsite.”

From King 5 in Seattle:

“As early as two days after Susan Powell was reported missing, authorities in their hometown of West Valley City, Utah, were describing the case as a murder, kidnapping, unlawful detention and obstruction of justice probe, the documents reveal.”

KSL News in Salt Lake said this:

From the earliest stages of their investigation, West Valley police focused on "blood stain patterns" found on the sofa, carpet and floor of the Powell’s West Valley home. In a search warrant affidavit from Dec. 14, 2009, detectives believed "that someone was injured and lost blood while on the sofa inside the residence." Forensics testing later confirmed the blood was Susan Powell’s.

“Detectives also noted in court documents: "There was nothing missing from the residence, there was no signs of forced entry and it didn’t appear there was a robbery, home invasion, burglary or signs of a struggle."

“Also compelling for police were the statements of Josh and Susan Powell’s son Charlie Powell, who was 4 at the time. He told detectives that "his mother had gone with them camping on Sunday and that for some reason she stayed at the campsite and did not return home with them," according to a search warrant affidavit filed the day after Susan Powell was reported missing.”

The Salt Lake Tribune had some really interesting tidbits from the documents, including the following:

* “The last call on Susan Powell’s phone was made at 2:29 p.m. on Dec. 6, 2009, to Jovanna Owings, a friend. Josh Powell called his father at 12:14 p.m. that same day. One affidavit said Steve Powell later said his son had called him for a pancake recipe.

* “during an initial interview Josh Powell said he left the couple’s West Valley City home between 12:30 a.m. and 1 a.m. to go camping near Cedar Fort to test a newly purchased generator.

* “Josh Powell also claimed to not know where his wife was and "did not appear to have any concern at this time for her welfare."

* “In the search of the couple’s van, police found a generator, blankets, a gas can, tarps, circular saw, humidifier, utility knife, latex gloves, rake, sleds, and a shovel.

* “They also found Susan’s cell phone in the center console of the Chrysler Town and Country van. The SIM card was missing.

"’ ‘This phone was off and upon finding it Mr. Powell appeared nervous and could not account for the phone being in the vehicle,’ according to a different affidavit taken from West Valley City Detective Ellis Maxwell.

* “Josh Powell seemed unresponsive when Maxwell told him that Susan Powell’s purse, filled with her credit cards, identification and other personal items, was left in the home. What Maxwell didn’t mention in that interview was that investigators also had found a key to Susan’s secret safety deposit box.”

The Salt Lake Tribune will be posting the 84 documents in their entirety in this article in the next hour or so.

Edited to add: FOX 13 has complete PDFs of all 84 documents here.


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Many people were shocked and horrified to read this article by Salt Lake-area KSL tonight. Even though Steve Powell was supposedly sentenced to 2 1/2 years in jail, they are now shortening his sentence to 338 days from the time his sentencing took effect on June 19 (down from the 913 days it was supposed to be).

I just don’t understand the criminal justice system. “Justice” for Steve’s victims—those two little neighbor girls that he spied on when they thought they were safe in their own home–doesn’t seem to enter the equation.

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On June 15, Steve Powell was sentenced to 30 months for 12 counts of voyeurism (the judge threw out two counts).

With time served and a discount for good behavior, Steve’s lawyers say he could be out in 13-14 months instead of the 21 months he has remaining.

The mother of the voyeurism victims addressed Steve Powell in court, as reported by KSL-TV:

‘"I have yet to hear you apologize. You’ve sat there smugly as if it’s perfectly normal to commit your crimes," she said to Powell. "Shame on you! Shame on you for not admitting what you did was wrong, and for not admitting it at all."

‘She said her daughters "have to carry this forever."

‘"They did nothing to you, but you’ve stolen their sense of security," the woman said.

‘"And while I didn’t know you were watching my girls, I do know that somebody was watching you. And you better pray that he forgives you, because I can’t."’

Steve Powell was served with a civil lawsuit against him by the victims.

His lawyers are already appealing his conviction, arguing once again that the search of his house which gathered the voyeurism evidence was illegal.

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During the second week of May 2012, Steve Powell’s voyeurism trial began.

The mother of the two neighbor girls—victims of Steve Powell’s voyeurism—testified, and so did her two daughters, the victims.

The jury viewed pictures of the voyeuristic evidence. They were ordered every day by the judge not to view, read or research anything about the case, or about Josh or Susan Powell.

Many wondered why Susan was not named as a victim, since Steve Powell had taken many photos of her without her knowledge, and admitted in his journal that he was a voyeur as he wrote obsessively about Susan and others.

Anne Bremner, an attorney for the Cox family, explained that Susan couldn’t be named as a victim because she was not there to testify that she didn’t know Steve was videotaping and photographing her without her knowledge.

Detectives from both Pierce County, Washington and West Valley City, Utah testified against Steve Powell. Jennifer Graves, Steve Powell’s daughter, also testified against her father.

The defense did not call any witnesses. The jury deliberated for about 6 hours but finally returned a unanimous “guilty on all counts” verdict against Steve.

During the trial Alina Powell, Josh Powell’s younger sister, put up a website claiming her father was innocent and had a perfectly normal, innocent relationship with Susan. She also claimed police planted the evidence against her father.

Those close to Susan were grateful to Alina for releasing videos of Susan, but felt her messages and claims were the mark of desperation, and agreed with Brent Hunsaker’s view of this website:

“But in truth, I saw very little interaction between Susan and Steve in the videos. No eye contact. No direct conversations. If anything, it appears Susan is ignoring her father-in-law and focusing almost exclusively on her two boys.

“I do not see what Alina sees.

”As someone pointed out to me, there are films of Adolph Hitler playing with his dogs. Does that prove he was a loving man? No. How do we know? Context.”

Steve Powell was returned to jail, and the sentencing hearing was set for June 15.

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Lawyers for Steve Powell, in jail for voyeurism of two young neighbor girls in 2006, tried to get all the evidence against him seized in the search of his home in August, 2011 thrown out.

On Tuesday, April 24, 2012, judge Ronald Culpepper ruled that the search was legal and the evidence would stay in for the trial.

The KSL article about the hearing reports the following:

‘Pierce County Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper ruled that evidence collected during a search of Steven Powell’s house in August by police will be admissible during his upcoming trial.

‘But maybe just as important for the Cox family was hearing a judge say for the first time that there was enough evidence to reasonably believe Josh Powell was responsible for the disappearance of his wife.

‘"It’s a relief to actually hear him say it in court," said Chuck Cox, Susan Powell’s father.

‘In issuing his decision, Culpepper said, "I think these facts offer a very reasonable inference, something that would warrant a person of reasonable caution in finding probable cause in believing Joshua Powell, the subject of the investigation, was involved in the disappearance and very likely the death of Susan Powell."

‘Culpepper said there was probable cause for West Valley police to seek Susan Powell’s diaries, which were being kept in Josh and Steven Powell’s Puyallup, Wash., house, as well as probable cause to obtain all of the digital media in the home that led to the discovery of thousands of photographs of young children, many nude or partially nude, allegedly taken by Steven Powell.’

FOX 13 has more on this hearing and a copy of the witness list for the upcoming trial of Steve Powell.

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On Friday morning, amidst the hubbub surrounding the arrest of Steve Powell, Chuck and Judy Cox went to a court hearing to find out if a judge would permanently ban the publication of their daughter Susan Cox Powell’s journals.

The judge banned their publication.  The Coxes were very pleased with this decision, and so was the online community of those who love and care about Susan’s right to privacy of her own teenage thoughts, feelings and dreams.

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On Thursday, September 22, at about 9:30 Pacific Time, Steve Powell, Josh Powell’s father, was arrested.

At the same time, Josh and Susan’s two little boys, ages 4 and 6, were taken into protective custody by the police. 

Steve Powell was charged with 14 counts of voyeurism and 1 count of child pornography.  In the August 25 search of Steve Powell’s house, police seized computers and other evidence and later found that Steve had thousands of pictures and videotapes of young girls and women. Some of these little girls were his neighbors, and it appeared that he had taken them with a telephoto lens from his bedroom window looking into his neighbor’s bathroom.

Here is a statement from the Pierce County prosecuting attorney about Steve Powell’s arrest.

Other pictures were taken at parks and places frequented by kids, focusing on female body parts in the pictures and videotapes.

Currently the police have only gone through 5-10% of the pictures (about 2,000 they’ve looked at so far) and they believe Steve Powell’s “collection” spans the last 10 years.  There were also several pictures of Steve Powell’s daughter-in-law, Susan Cox Powell.  The police stated that Susan was clothed in the pictures but they appeared to be taken without her knowledge.  The pictures police have seen so far focus on girls’ and women’s intimate body parts. 

Bail was set at $200,000 Friday during Steve Powell’s arraignment.  He is currently sitting in a Pierce County jail, unable to make bail.  His next hearing is October 11.

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