New documents raise question: Why weren't charges filed against Josh Powell?

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  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 2, 2012 6:35 a.m.

    Re: L Kaiser REDMOND, WA
    "And yet weeks ago we were blaming WA state authorities for dropping the ball"

    It was Washington State and not Utah that allowed Josh Powell to take the lives of his two boys.

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    April 1, 2012 5:27 p.m.

    Anyone who has criticized police and prosecutors should be ashamed of themselves. These critics obviously have no understanding of trial by jury.

    These critics obviously do not remember the Casey Anthony trial. There was overwhelming evidence of guilt in that case, far more than in this case. And yet, the jury found her not guilty. The same would have happened to Josh Powell had the athorities given into pressure and filed a premature case.

    For anyone who says everyone should have known that Josh Powell would murder his children, I have one question for you: why weren't you there waiting on the doorstep to stop it?

  • The Judge Kaysville, UT
    March 31, 2012 10:36 p.m.

    ExDixieIte is right. If West Valley had prosecuted, Powell would've been acquitted. Every bit of "evidence" in this case has reasonable doubt all over it. Can you say Casey Anthony?

  • ExDixieIte Salt Lake City, UT
    March 31, 2012 9:23 p.m.

    Look, I'm not an attorney and I can mount a defense for Josh Powell even though I think he is 100% guilty.

    1. Can you prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Susan Powell is dead?
    2. Can you prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the blood found in the home came from her death and not an accident?
    3. Can you prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Josh didn't decide to clean the carpets, hence the dryers?
    4. Can you prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he didn't go camping that night?

    If you can't prove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the above then a just jury would not convict Josh Powell. I laud the West Valley police and the city's and the county's DA's office for not filing charges where there was not indisputable and unquestionable evidence against Josh Powell that would have resulted in his conviction.

    Washington authorities had no reason to say, "We would have filed charges". Irresponsible. Now if only they would have done a better job supervising visits.

    Sad all around but the Utah prosecutors were right.

  • guitarboy South Jordan, UT
    March 31, 2012 3:18 p.m.

    I agree with Kirk Graves, Greg Skordas.

    t702 says "Some folks need to start new careers over this, and the law should be modified to prevent this from ever happening again."
    Why? Do we now require law enforcement to be mind readers? I doubt any critics could have done a better job. I doubt any critics have access to all of the facts.

    Anyone who blames WVC for the deaths, should themselves start new careers if theirs involves thinking at any substantial level. As rblack said so poignantly:
    "[T]he State of Washington had all of this information. They also controlled his access to his children. They were the ones that failed to protect the children. They had the ability to act based on thier opinion of what was in the well being of the children. They failed miserably."

    I am not ready to blame law enforcement in Josh Powell's Washington town either, but it is quite disingenuous, not to mention unprofessional, for law enforcement in Washington (where Josh Powell was and where he murdered his children) to be blaming WVC.

    Josh Powell gets away with murder, and adults start blaming people for what he did. Bizarre society.

  • Kirk R Graves West Jordan, UT
    March 31, 2012 11:28 a.m.

    Pierce County wanted these documents unsealed to take the heat off of them and put it on WV. However, what I see is that WVPD still didn't have enough to convict (so an arrest would have been pointless). These documents only make it more clear that Pierce County had plenty of information to keep Charlie and Braden away from Josh.

  • owlmaster2 Kaysville, UT
    March 31, 2012 11:27 a.m.

    Jump to conclusions. Leap to judgement.

    I compliment NeilT from Clearfield for stating the obvious. Neil is totally correct in his statement.

    Why do we tend to be so harsh without the knowledge of the facts or the experience or those with the facts?

    West Valley Officers and County Attorneys did, in my opinion, their jobs the way it should have been handled. Moving too fast and making rash judgments tend to have tremendous costs in the future.

    Yes, 2 innocent children died, but at the same time, what would you be saying if Josh had been found innocent and later been discovered to have indeed killed his wife???

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    March 31, 2012 11:05 a.m.

    What if he were charged and then acquited. Later Susan's remains were found. Josh cannot be tried again. It is called double jeopardy. A good defense attorney would have managed to get Josh acquitted.

  • Maverick West Jordan, UT
    March 31, 2012 9:55 a.m.

    He should have been charged and there are those who should be held accountable. Further tragedy would have been prevented. What more evidence do you need? If you are required to have the body for cases like this then our justice system is not right. Very Sad.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    March 31, 2012 9:20 a.m.

    Buzz Nielsen of the WV Police needs to be held accountable for bumbling his way through this whole investigation. Finding the body will only establish cause of death - at best. It won't shed any light on who did it. What are these people thinking will come to light that we don't know already?

    The WVC Police have allowed themselves to be manipulated by Powell. I just don't get it. At the very least he should have been charged with tampering with evidence. And the police didn't even search their place for 2 or 3 days. I hope you people there are feeling safe with this group protecting you...

  • rblack Fulton, NY
    March 31, 2012 8:45 a.m.

    Bottom line, once they charge him, they have to proceed with prosecution. They don't get the opportunity to say, "time out, we need a little bit more evidence." Once they prosecute, they have to get a conviction. They don't get to find the body 2 weeks after he is found, "not guilty," and then fix the problem. However, the State of Washington had all of this information. They also controlled his access to his children. They were the ones that failed to protect the children. They had the ability to act based on thier opinion of what was in the well being of the children. They failed miserably.

  • rblack Fulton, NY
    March 31, 2012 8:38 a.m.

    Yes, there was alot of circumstantial evidence that he was guilty. He probably was guilty. However, West Valley couldn't charge him on the basis of the evidence that they had. The blood evidence, as was mentioned, could have happened easily and does not indicate violence. Who would be able to accurately testify as to the condition of the alleged victim after the meal prepared by Josh Powell? Evidence of what the kids said to the primary teacher would be dismissed as hearsay and would not have been presented in court. The alleged statements by Josh Powell to the coworker might be dismissed as well as there is no evidence that they are connected to an actual crime. It's like me saying, "a 22 shell to the head can kill from a mile away." If there is no body with said 22 shell in the head, does that really represent evidence that I did or was going to commit a crime? A man has his wife's cell phone and can't explain why he has it? I end up with my wife's cell phone regularly. They look the same. Sometimes I even end up with mine too.

  • Hua Ken Po St. George, UT
    March 31, 2012 8:06 a.m.

    How can Skordas say that "nobody had an idea" that the kids could be harmed. I'm sure his in-laws, his sisters, some of her friends, and anybody with an 80 IQ could conclude that. West Valley Police just dropped the ball and they should admit it.

  • L Kaiser REDMOND, WA
    March 31, 2012 7:53 a.m.

    And yet weeks ago we were blaming WA state authorities fot dropping the ball.... Im in shock at Utah authorities

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    March 31, 2012 5:48 a.m.

    I wonder if we are blaming the wrong organization. What about the prosecuting attorney for WVC. It is their responsibility to prosecute.

  • AmPatriot Taylorsville, UT
    March 31, 2012 4:11 a.m.

    Money, Money, Money. It costs money to put people on trial and the law enforcement want confessions or use intimidation to negotiate justice rather than a trial that can cost millions of dollars. It's not about the law and trials by their peers, its about saving money with a walk in conviction to hand over to the judge.

    Without a confession all the evidence was circumstantial and hearsay that cannot convict. The police have cleave set loose all this information to save face and take the heat of tier City and its police. All their evidence is "opinions" of officers, judges, Mayors, and no direct evidence. Not even the blood found in the home can be evidence because it can't be dated or deemed unusual for married couples and family. Maybe the blood was shed at some time by Mr Cox on a visit as family blood can have the similar and very close DNA traces, its how they connect family histories.

    With all these revelations being exposed, it is having its desired affect, take the heat off of WVC and its sloppy justice system.

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    March 31, 2012 1:29 a.m.

    "Defense attorney Greg Skordas, a former prosecutor, believes West Valley police were very close to filing charges." Apparently "very close" is not close enough to save two innocent children.

    With all these info and the fact that Josh had custody of the two boys, why didn't they act sooner in the best interest of the children? Some folks need to start new careers over this, and the law should be modified to prevent this from ever happening again

  • deep in thought Salt Lake, UT
    March 30, 2012 10:09 p.m.

    ...Sick to my stomach. Totally outrageous.