Jury set for missing mom's father-in-law

May 8, 2012 at 7:40 PM
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TACOMA, Wash., May 8 (UPI) -- Lawyers in Tacoma, Wash., agreed Tuesday on a 12-member jury for the voyeurism and pornography trial of the father-in-law of missing Utah mom Susan Powell.

Opening arguments in the case against Steven Powell, 62, are scheduled to begin Wednesday in Pierce County Superior Court, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. The trial is expected to last eight days.

Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper had dismissed one of the 15 counts in the indictment against Steven Powell. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison on each of the remaining 14 counts.

The trial will determine whether he victimized young girls, prosecutors said.

The questioning of jurors Tuesday mostly focused on whether potential jurors could separate Steven Powell's trial from the disappearance of Susan Powell and the murder-suicide of his son, Josh, and grandsons 7-year-old Charlie and 5-year-old Braden.

"The big pink elephant in the room is this other related matter," defense attorney Travis Currie said. "What you're going to be asked to decide here has literally nothing to do with the case involving Susan Powell, Josh Powell, the children or anything else. We're not going to be hearing about that. That's not the case here."

Prosecutors said in March 2004 Steven Powell wrote that he and Susan Powell were a perfect match because he was a voyeur and she was an exhibitionist. He wrote in September 2011 that he was going nuts and had been out of control sexually almost his entire life, prosecutors told the court.

Susan Powell was 28 when she disappeared 2009. Josh Powell was named a person of interest in the case before he killed himself and the couple's sons in February.

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