Associated Press
Josh Powell's sister and mother have fired back at Susan Cox Powell's father in the ongoing battle over life insurance money.

SALT LAKE CITY — A sister of Josh Powell and his mother have fired back at the father of missing Utah mother Susan Cox Powell in the ongoing battle over life insurance money.

In court documents filed last week, Alina and Terrica Powell objected to a supplemental brief filed earlier this month by Chuck Cox and his attorney Anne Bremner claiming that the Powells are willing to declare that Josh Powell killed his wife, Susan Powell, in order to lay claim to millions of dollars in life insurance money.

"The supplemental brief does not shed any light on the issues that are genuinely before the court. Accordingly, the supplemental brief should be rejected and disregarded," attorney Joshua Lee wrote in new court documents.

The Powells, through Lee, contend that the supplemental motion was simply filed by Cox to generate negative publicity toward them.

At dispute is who should be the beneficiary of Josh and Susan Powell's trust fund now that Josh Powell and his two sons are dead, and Susan Powell is presumed dead. Josh Powell murdered his two young sons and then killed himself and set fire to his house in Washington state in 2012.

One of the key issues in determining who inherits all or part of the funds may come down to when Susan Powell is legally declared dead.

Susan Powell went missing in December 2009. In Utah, a person can legally be considered "dead" after missing for five years. Powell will have been missing for that long this coming December.

Chuck Cox was appointed conservator over the trust in January of 2013. Bremner argued that for Terrica and Alina Powell to claim that Susan died earlier, thus making Cox's conservatorship appointment too late, would essentially result in a "murder trial." She claimed the Powells "will take whatever position maximizes their opportunity to benefit monetarily from Joshua Powell’s crimes."

The Powells, sister Alina Powell especially, have long supported Josh Powell, saying he did not kill his wife.

In his objection to Bremner and Cox's court filing, Lee accused Cox of essentially doing the same thing he accused the Powells of.

"Cox ignores his own gamesmanship for the sake of money. In this proceeding, Cox necessarily maintains the position that Susan is currently alive — otherwise, a conservatorship would be clearly improper," Lee wrote in court documents. "The entire premise of the argument in Cox’s supplemental brief is illogical."

Lee argues that Cox is overstating what his clients said about proving Susan Powell died earlier than this coming December. And even if they were to say that Josh Powell killed her, it doesn't affect the trust.

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Lee contends that Cox's last court filing shows his philosophy in the case, "that this court should somehow impute Josh Powell’s bad acts to his mother and sister, despite the fact they have not been implicated in any crimes committed by Josh Powell and were innocent victims of such acts just as Cox was. Cox’s statement further suggests that this court should ignore the law and instead decide the present issues based upon an irrational prejudice toward the Powells. In short, the Powells’ recent filing in Washington is absolutely irrelevant to these proceedings and the issues before the court."

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