Defense: Powell voyeurism evidence illegal

April 23, 2012 at 8:02 PM
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TACOMA, Wash., April 23 (UPI) -- Defense attorneys for the father-in-law of a missing Washington woman argued Monday evidence in his child pornography and voyeurism case should be suppressed.

Pierce County Superior Court Judge Ronald E. Culpepper will determine Tuesday whether to admit the evidence against Steven Powell, 61, who is charged with 14 counts of voyeurism and one count of possessing an image of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Monday.

Powell's lawyers said police illegally obtained the evidence against Powell -- a CD containing photos -- during an Aug. 25 search of the Puyallup home he shared with his son Josh Powell and his two grandsons. Police had a search warrant to collect the journals of Josh Powell's wife Susan Cox Powell as part of the investigation into her disappearance, but defense lawyers called the search a "fishing expedition."

Prosecutors said the search was valid because they had previously found writings by Cox Powell saying if she ever went missing, her husband would mostly likely be to blame.

"It's a fair inference that these writings would contain relevant information to assist investigators," prosecutor Grant Blinn said.

Cox Powell has been missing since 2009. Josh Powell set fire to his Puyallup home Feb. 5, killing himself and the couple's two children.

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