Judge: No date change in Powell trial

April 26, 2012 at 8:09 PM
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TACOMA, Wash., April 26 (UPI) -- A Washington state judge said Thursday the child pornography trial of a missing woman's father-in-law will proceed as planned despite scheduling conflicts.

Pierce County Superior Court Judge Ronald E. Culpepper initially had two cases scheduled for May 7, but determined Steven Powell's trial would not be continued to another date, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Powell, 61, faces 14 counts of voyeurism and one count of possessing an image of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Once his trial begins, jury selection should take one to two days with another four days of trial following, the newspaper said.

Culpepper ruled this week evidence investigators gathered against Powell in his Puyallup home could be admitted. Powell's lawyers argued police illegally obtained the evidence -- a CD containing photos -- during an Aug. 25 search of the 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."

Powell, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, is being held on $200,000 bail in Pierce County jail.

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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