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Washington judge sets May date for Steve Powell trial

Court » Steve Powell is charged with 14 counts of voyeurism and one count of possessing an image of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

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With the exception Jennifer Graves, several of Powell family members have defended their father.

"The arrest comes as a surprise to all individuals I have talked to, especially those closest to my father," wrote Michael C. Powell, 29, who is a student living in Minneapolis, in court documents. "Everyone is of course saddened by it. The charges are not consistent with the way I know my father to behave."

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Michael Powell wrote that he and his siblings do not intend to post bail for their father.

On a website created in January called "4thekidzz", which has since been taken down, Michael Powell wrote that he didn’t believe law enforcement has evidence to support the charges against his father.

"Laws in the state of Washington are very lax, such that there is no requirement to present evidence for an arrest until months into a criminal proceeding. This is why they have been able to keep my father jailed for months now without evidence," Michael Powell wrote. He claimed law enforcement fabricated charges to "inflict maximum damage to the Powell family’s reputation and long-term financial situation."

Graves, who is estranged from her father and siblings, has said that she was relieved her father was arrested so he could not victimize other people. She said Powell has a pornography addiction and she and her husband made it a point to never leave their children alone with Powell because of his history of questionable behavior.

She wrote in a declaration in support of having her nephews live with the Coxes that as a 12-year-old, she went on a work trip with Steve Powell and that he watched a television show involving naked women while she was in the room.

"Pornography has been an issue in this family for three decades. When my parents divorced, pornography was an issue during the proceeding," Graves wrote. "Joshua knew about the pornography then and his statements presently that he knows nothing of our father’s pornographic inclinations and material is untruthful."

An impending continuation of Powell’s trial raises the question of whether he may consider a potential plea agreement offered by prosecutors before he heads to trial.

Quigley has said he expects his client would not take a plea deal.

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An attorney for Chuck and Judy Cox, Susan Powell’s parents, said the Cox family is hopeful Steve Powell’s trial may possible bring forth answers in the case of their missing daughter.

Steve Downing said that Chuck and Judy Cox are planning to attend part of Steve Powell’s trial. Powell’s attorneys filed a court document stating that Powell will not provide any information to law enforcement related to Susan Powell. But the Coxes are holding out hope, Downing said.

"They do hope that somehow, someway, information is obtained from or through that process that will lead them to the whereabouts of Susan," Downing said.

But he said it’s unlikely Susan Powell could be brought up at trial, since the charges Powell will be going to trial on are not related to her. Downing said a potential plea agreement could bring information about Susan Powell into the mix, however.

"If anything, any knowledge he may have, may impact any plea agreement that might be entered," Downing said. "I’m just hoping, and that’s all it is, that ... there will be enough pressure applied or there would be something that played on his conscience to disclose what he knows.

"I can assure you, my clients are never going to stop looking for her," Downing said.


Twitter: @mrogers_trib

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