Jurors handed Steven Powell voyeurism case

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Updated Tuesday, May 15 at 5:25 PM

A Pierce County jury needs more time to deliberate in the voyeurism case against the father-in-law of Susan Powell.

Jurors broke for the day Tuesday afternoon after considering Steven Powell's fate for several hours. They planned to return at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Powell faces 14 counts of voyeurism stemming from what prosecutors say are images found on a disc in his bedroom of young girls who lived next door.

Jurors questioned that evidence during deliberations, asking if the disc was found in boxes containing only Steve Powell's belongings.

Evidence used by prosecutors included photos of young girls in bathrooms, girls changing clothes and at least one video of Powell allegedly touching himself. The photo corresponding to each charge was shown once again to jurors during the prosecution's closing arguments.

Defense attorneys argued reasonable doubt exists and that, "this case is not about what you feel, it's about what you know."

Prior to closing arguments, Pierce County Judge Ronald Culpepper provided jurors instructions on reaching a verdict. Culpepper said the jury must reach a decision based on evidence, not emotions.

[Related Story: Powell family hopes videos change minds about Steven Powell.]

Jurors were reminded they will have to reach a unanimous verdict on all 14 charges. Culpepper said a guilty verdict would mean jurors believe pictures were used for sexual gratification, and taken without permission of someone in a place where privacy is expected.

The photos were found on Powell's computer last fall when police searched his Puyallup home. At the time, Powell's former daughter-in-law, Susan Powell, had been missing for nearly two years. Officers were looking for her journals.

Steven's son, Josh Powell, is suspected in the disappearance of his wife, Susan, in Utah in 2009. Josh Powell killed himself and his two young sons in February after setting fire to his Graham, Wash., home.

A child pornography charge against Steven Powell was thrown out last week.

Steven's daughter Alina Powell, and estranged daughter Jennifer Graves were both present Tuesday, as well as Susan Powell's parents, Chuck and Judy Cox.

Photos of Susan Powell were tossed out as evidence because she was not considered one of the alleged victims in the voyeurism case.

Alina Powell put a number of home videos shot between 2007 and 2009 on a website: http://sites.google.com/site/westvalleymalfeasance/

The clips show her father, Steven Powell, playing with his grandsons, Charlie and Braden Powell, and sightseeing with his son Josh and his daughter-in-law Susan.

Alina wanted the public to see how Susan Powell did not seem to have any problem with her children spending time with their grandfather.


KING 5's Drew Mikkelsen and Lindsay Chamberlain and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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