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Steven Powell found guilty on all 14 counts of voyeurism

Steven Powell found guilty on all 14 counts of voyeurism
Posted at 8:17 AM, May 16, 2012
and last updated 2012-05-17 00:30:25-04

UPDATE 8:07 p.m. PST: Anne Bremner, the attorney for the teenage girls who were photographed by Steven Powell, told FOX 13 they were "very, very pleased" with the verdict.

"They feel the system worked," she said.

Bremner told FOX 13 the girls will be filing a civil lawsuit against Steven Powell for the voyeurism. The jury verdict established liability and they planned to go after his assets.


UPDATE 4:45 p.m. PST: Pierce County prosecutors told FOX 13 they would not be offering any deals to Steven Powell for information about Susan Cox Powell's whereabouts.

"We have no plans to offer him any type of reduction in exchange for information. It has not been discussed," Grant Blinn said.

Blinn said he would ask the judge to enhance the sentence. A typical case like this would have a sentence of about 43 month.

The prosecutor said he also did not plan on filing any more charges against Steven Powell.

"We've charged all the cases in Pierce County that we can prove at this point, so I don't expect there are going to be any further charges of voyeurism against Steve Powell," Blinn said.

UPDATE 2:55 p.m. PST: As he was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs, FOX 13 asked Steven Powell if he had any comment. He stared straight ahead, saying nothing as he was escorted back to the Pierce County Jail by bailiffs.

Denise Cox wiped away tears outside the courtroom.

"They're tears of joy," she told FOX 13.

She said it was some measure of justice.

"My sister's not around for him to answer to. Those girls are. They were very brave and I was proud of them for testifying," she said.

Alina Powell sat in the courtroom for about an hour after the verdict was handed down. She was also crying as she left the courthouse.

"My family was automatically convicted 2 1/2 years ago," she told reporters. "And ever since then I've lost a sister-in-law, a sister, a brother, two darling nephews and a great father to an unimaginably complicated, difficult situation that even i have a hard time understanding sometimes."

Jury foreman Dodd Tremaine explained to reporters why there were questions about the photographs.

"Everybody has different opinions of what they see and how they view photos," he said. "So we finally just talked them out and we came to the conclusion he was guilty on all 14 charges."

Tremaine declined to say who on the jury had doubts about the evidence.

"We listened carefully to everything. We just thought that the prosecution, it was… they presented a better case," he said.

Tremaine said they did not pay attention to the Susan Cox Powell case that surrounded the trial, but acknowledged he now wonders what happened to her.

Read the Pierce County press release about Powell's conviction here.

UPDATE 11:36 a.m. PST: Steve Powell's sentencing is schedule for June 15. He faces up to 70 years in prison. He remains in custody for now.

UPDATE 11:30 a.m. PST: Steven Powell has been found guilty on all 14 counts of voyeurism.  The jurors were unanimous.

UPDATE 11:18 a.m. PST: The jury has deliberated about six and a half hours over the course of two days.

UPDATE 10:55 a.m. PST: Jury has a verdict. 

UPDATE 10:35 a.m. PST: The jury's third question is:

If some members of the jury feel that the image in one of the exhibits does not meet the requirements from beyond a reasonable doubt but after reviewing the disc can we use other frames before & after to come to a decision?

Judge Culpepper said he could not give an answer, and appeared to struggle with what exactly the question was. Prosecutors urged him to refer the jury back to one of the instructions.

The judge wrote back:

You have received all of the exhibits and the court's instructions. Please refer to them.

"We'll let you know when we hear something from the jury," Judge Culpepper told lawyers as Steven Powell was led out of the courtroom.

Here is a copy of the jury instructions.

UPDATE 10:04 a.m. PST: After an animated exchange between prosecutors and Gilbert (who is representing himself), Judge Culpepper cut off the defendant to deal with the jury's question in the Steven Powell trial. Gilbert is arguing to see some of the evidence against him -- including tapes of the boys he is accused of sexually abusing.

The judge called a brief recess while Steven Powell was brought back into the courtroom.

UPDATE 9:47 a.m. PST: As we wait for the jury's question to be read in court, the judge is taking up another high-profile case here in Tacoma. It is the case of Weldon Marc Gilbert, accused of sexually abusing a number of boys.

Here is some background on the case from our sister station, Q13 FOX in Seattle.

UPDATE 9:37 a.m. PST: The jury has another question.

UPDATE 9:02 a.m. PST: Alina Powell is in the courtroom.

Everyone is waiting as the jury continues deliberating.

UPDATE 8:47 a.m. PST: The judge's clerk just informed us that the jury has resumed deliberations.

Chuck and Judy Cox are waiting inside the courtroom.

ORIGINAL POST:

TACOMA -- A jury of six men and six women will resume deliberations this morning in the voyeurism trial of Steven Powell, the father-in-law of missing West Valley City mom Susan Cox Powell.

The jury deliberated about four hours on Tuesday, asking two questions of the judge in the case. The jury asked if all the boxes in Steven Powell's bedroom really belonged to him. The judge replied that it was a factual issue.

"Please keep deliberating," he wrote back.

Then the jury asked to view the images that Steven Powell is accused of taking of a pair of neighbor girls. He is charged with 14 counts of voyeurism, a charge that could net him up to 5 years in prison on each count.

"I think the evidence clearly shows the things in the room are his," said Anne Bremner, the attorney for the two young girls.

She said she expects a guilty verdict, but admitted being nervous with the deliberations taking so long.

"Jurors never made me nervous until the Casey Anthony trial," Bremner quipped. "And now? They make me nervous."

The jury deliberations came on the same day that Steven Powell's daughter, Alina, created a website in support of her father and posted new video of Susan Cox Powell, her husband, Josh, and their children.

"It gets the message out there," Alina Powell told FOX 13 about creating the site.

While family and friends of Susan have claimed she detested Steven Powell, Alina Powell said the videos show a different side of things.

"If Susan had really thought that Steve Powell were a danger to her children, as the police are trying to claim, there's no way she would have allowed him access to her children in so carefree a manner as demonstrated in the videos. Susan was a caring mother and an excellent judge of character. The police have misrepresented Susan's writings in bad faith," she wrote.

Alina also included a pair of "love songs" that Steven Powell wrote and sang. Susan sang back-up, she wrote.

"She's in denial about everything and I don't think she understands what she's putting up there," Susan's father, Chuck Cox, said of Alina Powell.

After learning of the website, Susan's sister, Denise Cox, left the courtroom visibly upset.

"We know that Susan would spend time with the family, because she wanted to try everything she could," Chuck Cox said. "She would not be alone with Steve, she would try to be polite, and (Alina is) misconstruing that."

Chuck Cox did say he would likely look at the videos on the website. They show the Powell family at various activities.

"We're glad to see any pictures that we have of her because they've kept that all away from us," Chuck Cox said.

Susan vanished in 2009. Her husband is considered by West Valley City police to be a "person of interest" in her disappearance; Washington state authorities called him a "prime suspect" in her kidnapping and murder. Josh Powell killed himself and their children, Charlie and Braden, in an explosion and fire in February.

"When I watch the videos, it's sweet family moments," Alina Powell said.

Check back here for updates throughout the day on the Steven Powell trial. You can also follow FOX 13′s Ben Winslow for real-time updates on Twitter.

Read a recap of Tuesday's closing statements and jury deliberations.

Read a recap of Monday’s court happenings.

Read a recap of last week’s witness testimony here.

Read a recap of last week’s trial opening here.

Read a recap of last Monday’s jury selection here.

Read a prosecution filing detailing what police allege they found on Steven Powell’s computers. WARNING: Extremely GRAPHIC content!

Read the jury questionnaire in the Steven Powell trial.

Here are the jury instructions.

This is the judge's order to dismiss the child porn charge against Steven Powell, with prejudice.

This is the defense motion to dismiss 12 counts of voyeurism against Steven Powell.

This is the state's response. The motion was denied.