TACOMA, Wash. — Attorney Anne Bremner wants West Valley police to release their records into the Susan Powell investigation to her. If they don't, she will consider filing a lawsuit.
In a letter dated April 26, Bremner filed public records requests of both the West Valley Police Department and the Pierce County Sheriff's Office in Washington for "complete copies of any and all investigative files concerning the disappearance of Susan Cox Powell." Both departments had 10 business days to respond.
Pierce County has agreed to hand over all of its police reports after Steven Powell's voyeurism trial has concluded, which is expected to be next week. As of Wednesday, West Valley police had not responded, Bremner said. Thursday marks the end of the 10-day period.
Bremner represents both the family of Susan Powell and the family of two young girls who are the subjects of Steven Powell's voyeurism trial, which is currently under way. Powell is charged with 14 counts of voyeurism. Both of the girls, who are now 13 and 15, testified against Powell on Wednesday saying they did not give anyone permission to videotape or photograph them while they were in the bathroom of their own home.
Powell's trial will resume on Monday with witnesses from Utah, including members of the West Valley Police Department, expected to take the stand. Pierce County Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper has all but eliminated Susan Powell from the trial, making multiple rulings the keep her name out of the proceedings so the jury won't be prejudiced hearing the high-profile name of the missing Utah mother.
But members of the Cox family say Susan was also a victim of Steven Powell's voyeurism and he should face additional charges based on what he allegedly did to her. Many of the pretrial motions in the Steven Powell trial dealt with numerous photos and videos he allegedly took of his daughter-in-law, and Steve Powell's own diary entries contained sexually graphic fantasies he had written about her.
The Cox family is hoping this won't be the last time Powell goes on trial for voyeurism.
When asked why charges weren't filed on behalf of Susan Powell, Bremner said at the time there were potential complications over the statute of limitations and also the fact that the missing woman couldn't be called to testify.
Bremner, a Seattle-based attorney who has worked several high-profile cases in the past, made the records requests on behalf of both the Cox family and the young girls.
She is seeking "all incident reports, detective follow-up reports, forensic analysis reports, evidence records, evidence receipts, officer and civilian witness statements, audio and video recordings, surveillance tapes, photographs, and written summaries and transcripts of any and all interviews of witnesses, suspects or person of interest" concerning West Valley's investigation into Susan Powell.
The Coxes are also seeking "all written and electronic communications, meeting agendas and minutes, memos, correspondence, reports and information transmitted to or received from the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office, the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office, the West Valley City Mayor's Office and the West Valley City Council."
Although Utah law does allow police to keep some records private, Bremner believes "the exemption applies only where disclosure would compromise the investigation or violate an individual's right to privacy. Neither factor is at issue here."
She contends that the notion the sealed records are still part of an "ongoing investigation" shouldn't apply because "the subject of the investigation is dead."
"I don't have any reason of substance to believe there's somebody out there where release of the records would compromise their ability to investigate that person. If they're talking about Steven Powell, he's in custody," Bremner said.
She noted that a lot of information had already been released when the search warrants were unsealed in Washington and it did not seem to compromise West Valley's investigation.
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company