TACOMA, Wash — The trial of Steven Powell on charges of voyeurism and child pornography begins today.
The legal proceedings will begin with jury selection, which is expected to last through Tuesday or Wednesday. Depending on how long jury selection takes — and how a possible scheduling conflict with the judge is worked out — opening arguments could be presented either Wednesday, Thursday or next Monday. The entire trial, from jury selection to a verdict, is expected to be less than two weeks.
Powell, 62, is accused of taking pictures of two neighbor girls, then ages 8 and 10, through an open window into their bathroom without their knowledge in 2006 and 2007. He is charged with 14 counts of voyeurism and one count of possession of materials of minors engaged in explicit conduct.
Each count carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison.
The court will have a pool of 100 people from which to seat a jury. Approximately 70 people are expected to be brought into the courtroom on Monday to fill out questionnaires.
Once a jury is seated and opening arguments delivered, prosecutors have 28 potential witnesses on their list, including Steven Powell's estranged daughter, Jennifer Graves, and about 20 officers from the West Valley Police Department and the Pierce County Sheriff's Office in Washington. Not all 28 witnesses, however, are expected to be called.
Powell's defense team has just two witnesses on its list, both private investigators from their office. Powell himself is not on the list, which means he will not likely take the stand to testify in his own behalf.
Chuck and Judy Cox are expected to be in the courtroom each day of the trial. They are the parents of Susan Cox Powell, who disappeared from her West Valley home in December of 2009. However, no new information about what may have happened to Susan is expected to come out during the trial.
Information about Susan's husband, Josh Powell — who killed himself and his two young boys in February and is suspected of killing his wife — is also not likely to be discussed. Evidence used to charge Steven Powell was gathered during a search of his Puyallup, Wash., home by West Valley police investigating Susan Powell's disappearance.
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