Mayor defends police in Powell case, saying it's easy to second guess

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  • Let's be real Salt Lake City, UT
    April 2, 2012 12:20 p.m.

    This is a hard pill to swallow. Josh is a coward for taking the boys with him. Yes, I think he did it but I have to come from a standpoint of someone being on a jury. True, we do not have a lot of facts still but there is no smoking gun in this case that I would use to convict Josh. Josh was quick and was very intelligent keeping one pace ahead of detectives. Blood being on the tile could mean endless possibilities. Fans on the couch just the same. Animated pedophilic images are both gross and unimaginable but as of yet not illegal, apparently. Taking a sim card out of her phone, lying about her phone in the van and his charger in the car while stating that he could not use his phone is simply lying, still. Making statements about burying a person in the west desert, bad judgement, but still not able to use them, fully, unless they have a body or other highly incriminating evidence. Unfortunately, it all adds up to more question marks. With the evidence presented so far, I would have to vote for acquittal. I will pray for the family.

  • Kirk R Graves West Jordan, UT
    April 1, 2012 5:31 p.m.

    Pierce county and WA state looked really bad after Josh murdered Charlie and Braden. They are now trying to shift the focus to WVPD so people will stop talking about how WA should have done more.

    This is all politics. Simple as that. If only everyone would admit 2 things. 1) 20/20 hindsight is a beautiful and completely useless thing and 2) noone can be blamed for this tragedy but Josh, the homocidal and filicidal scum.

    The case the WVPD had was completely circumstantial, a good defense attorney would have gotten him off, particularly without a body. Time was on the side of the police (or so it seemed). To point fingers now is nice, and helps fills the anger some people feel, but it doesn't mean that WVPD did their part wrong.

  • OneAmerican Idaho Falls, ID
    April 1, 2012 4:50 p.m.

    I don't know if there was consultation with the prosecuting attorney regarding the merits of an arrest. If so, perhaps the PA has too high of expectations on his ability to win a case with overwhelming circumstantial evidence. If there was no consultation, new leadership in the police department may be needed to ensure better communication with the PA. When you list the evidence they had...and they WERE the "quarterbacks" in the game...there was VERY strong evidence against Josh Powell...a wet, freshly cleaned couch, a shovel, and the victims cell phone with a missing SIM card alone are strong evidence. You don't need a body to convict someone for murder. It seems that without one, though, this police department refused to see any other evidence as relevant or admissable.

  • Thomas Paine South Jordan, UT
    April 1, 2012 3:38 p.m.

    Now, if Richard Burwash had said it, I think I would believe the Mayor.

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    April 1, 2012 2:44 p.m.

    I find it remarkable that the Deseret News (or anyone for that matter) considers it important how Mayor Winder opines regarding the performance of any department within his jurisdiction.

    When someone proves himself not trustworthy in high office, and the rest of us behave as if nothing happened, don't be surprised by any subsequent increase in political corruption. It's disturbing how much time and attention the Deseret News devotes to Mayor Winder. The only thing saving him right now is his family name. It shouldn't.

  • guv_garfunkel Highland, UT
    April 1, 2012 2:04 p.m.

    I'm sorry, but I don't see how anybody can possibly defend the WVC police department. It is a disgrace what they have done and everyone involved in the case that knew the wealth of evidence available should be forced to step down. This isn't second guessing. The whole country basically knew Josh had something to do with his wife's disappearance before we even knew about all this evidence. Now it is only so obvious that it is sickening. You have other police departments and prosecuters saying that they would have easily arrested him based on the evidence. I think that says alot. The only thing that WVC didn't have was a body, but otherwise there was plenty of evidence to convict him, the most obvious being the inconsistencies in his story. Surely Josh is to blame for the death of those two boys, but those involved in this case had the ability to take those boys out of harm's way and they didn't act. There is indirect blame there. Those who knew the evidence should have done more and there is no excuse whatsoever. Some heads need to roll for this.

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    April 1, 2012 1:54 p.m.

    Investigators are paid to connect the dots, in this case the dots were not connected, after 2 long years--- the fact they waited for the "perfect evidence" cost 2 innocence lives...unacceptable! In any profession if you have the best information available to do your job and you fail to do what your were paid to do...guess what? you're fired! end of story. These guys need to find another profession that they may be good at because clearly they ain't good at this...

  • NWCL INDP Murray, UT
    April 1, 2012 1:24 p.m.

    One can't blame the death of the 2 boys on the WVC police.

    However, it is a very legitimate question to ask why they didn't act more on the information they had. Posters are wrong when they state that WA and UT police had the same information. Read the story better about what was not shared. WVC police were helping the good 'ole boy in the case. They seem to have felt more sympathy for the male hunter who smiled pretty for the camera. Time to get police and politicians that can think.

  • CB Salt Lake City, UT
    April 1, 2012 1:01 p.m.

    Perhaps if these 'keystone cops' had put Josh under surveillance he might have lead them to
    the body when he put 200 miles plus on that rental car. His alibi was so weak, and the sharing
    of this information with Washington might have saved the lives of those precious boys.
    Somebody should resign.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    April 1, 2012 12:36 p.m.

    I question some of the Mayor's other decisions and this is a continuation. It may be second guessing over two years out but the other parts that have surfaced since then just ratify that these things should have been looked at at the time. Josh Powell hoodwinked the police, etc. with his deliberately planned process. He was very manipulating and he made his sister his enemy to the public, when she was the one to believe. Forensics and just good detective processes would have quelled some of the questions that have been highlighted over past 2 years and 4 months since that night. His children paid the price of the indecisiveness and attempts to show they were trying to do after the fact investigations. The judge to seal off the files for all that time is also a factor. In Utah and other states, children are to be protgected at all costs and these childred died due to the ones that should have protected them

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 1, 2012 11:40 a.m.

    Juries make their decisions based on evidence presented and if a skilled defense team were able to explain away circumstantial evidence the jury would be expected to find in Mr. Powell's favor. Then all the armchair generals would have really been upset.

    Many of those that are now upset with WVC originally wanted the boys returned to their father's custody. How soon they forget.

  • Shake -n- Bake Woods Cross, Utah
    April 1, 2012 10:12 a.m.

    "It is a different matter if you are in the legal community to have enough evidence to go in for an arrest."

    I'm guessing this was more the political community than the legal community that impacted whether or not Josh was charged.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    April 1, 2012 9:48 a.m.

    Mike Winder has no credibility whatsoever.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    April 1, 2012 9:02 a.m.

    Methinks Mayor Winder is trying to put a smiley face on this issue.
    At least he's using his real name.

  • Timp South Jordan, UT
    April 1, 2012 8:59 a.m.

    I would imagine if they charged Josh Powell and allow the evidence presented come to light that a custody judge would have been influenced to limit his access to his children.... Did those judges hear about this evidence(blood, ect)? Even if 'circumstanial' it seems like more than enough to think it's probably not good to have these kids hanging out with dad

  • rblack Fulton, NY
    April 1, 2012 7:52 a.m.

    And if her body was found two weeks after his aquittal, with evidence that made it clear that he did it, we would be screaming for someone's job again. It is the height of absurdity for anyone in Washington to state that WVC is responsible for the deaths of the boys. The boys would be alive today if their father wasn't a self serving, evil man. He bears primary responsibility. Everything else is fingerpointing. However, I can make a much more compelling case against the State of Washington dropping the ball than they can against WVC. They had all the information that WVC had. In addition, they had the ability to act based on their opinion of those facts.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    April 1, 2012 7:44 a.m.

    I agree,

    "It is easy for those of us who watch TV to say, 'Hey, there is plenty of evidence... It is a different matter if you are in the legal community to have enough evidence to go in for an arrest."

    1- We really don't know what was going through detectives and the DA's minds. The public may see a single item of evidence and shout "Murderer!!" but in reality a prosecutor may look at another peice of evidence that would hurt their case tremendously- a piece that any decent defense attorney could easily win a case with.

    2- People may think that 'prosecuting a case you can't win would have protected the children' but this isn't true.
    -We don't know if it would have stopped this had they proceeded.
    -We certainly wouldn't have wanted a half-cocked prosecutor to try, lose, and then return custody to Josh Powell in the end anyway.

    3- I agree that not being 'in the loop' makes it easy to judge. We can stipulate, question, and so on- but not really judge past decisions unless we were party to them.

  • wer South Jordan, UT
    April 1, 2012 1:09 a.m.

    If there were a TV reality show entitled, "America's Dumbest Police Departments", West Valley PD would be featured.

    There may be people in that department who feel really bad about what happened in this case. That's not enough. Certain people ought to step down or lose their jobs.

  • SundanceKid27 OREM, UT
    April 1, 2012 12:44 a.m.

    The least they could do would to share information with the Washington State police. Why can't government or agencies use common sense.

  • DistantThunder Vincentown, NJ
    March 31, 2012 11:06 p.m.

    The parties involved should all resign in disgrace or be fired. People should sign petitions asking them to resign.. Talk about massive FAILURE. Josh was a MONSTER. And a judge let him have those innocent boys.

  • alert Payson, Utah
    March 31, 2012 10:57 p.m.

    "The last thing they were going to do is make a premature arrest and let someone slip through the fingers of justice." This statement at the end of the article is troubling. At what price did they do that? The loss of three lives seems very high. And someone did slip through the fingers of justice. I think more went into cover their backside than protecting those they were sworn to do so.

    This does not inspire confidence. Alert, they did not appear to be.