South Sound News

Steven Powell dies at Tacoma hospital, deputies say

Steven Powell, the father of Josh Powell, who killed his two young sons and himself in Graham, Wash., and the father-in-law of missing Susan Cox Powell, died Monday at a Tacoma hospital, deputies said.

On Monday night, the Pierce County Sheriff's Department said Powell died early in the morning at a Tacoma hospital.

His cause of death is unknown.

Powell was found guilty in 2015 for possessing child porn and taking pictures of two neighbor girls, ages 8 and 10, as they used a family bathroom. He faced up to five years in prison, but prisoners who do not have behavior incidents while incarcerated can get significant time off their sentence. He was released from prison in 2017.

Powell's son Josh was considered the prime suspect in the disappearance of his wife, Susan Cox Powell, from the couple's home in Utah in 2009. Her body was never found.

Here's a timeline of events:

[Dec. 2009] Josh Powell first reported his wife missing from their Utah home on December 6, 2009.

At that time, Josh told police he'd taken his two young sons on an overnight camping trip, and when they returned, she was gone. Five days after that report, police in Utah named Josh Powell a "person of interest. He’s the only person police ever publicly tied to her disappearance.

Image: Josh Powell file photo (AP)

[August 2011] The search for Susan Cox Powell heated up again on August 18, 2011, when police citing a new lead, opened a new search near Ely, Nevada.

KIRO 7 was alongside investigators in the desert, but nothing relating to Susan Powell turned up.
Exactly one week after that, those investigators came to Puyallup. Investigators removed computers from the home of Steven Powell, where he lived with his son Josh, and Josh and Susan's two boys Charlie and Brayden.

[February 2012] Josh Powell blew up a different house he was renting in Graham, killing himself and his two boys.

Susan Powell has never been found and she is presumed dead.

[June 2012] On June 15, Steven Powell was sentenced to two-and-a-half years for recording images of two young neighbor girls in their bathroom.

Powell was convicted on 14 counts of voyeurism in May 2012 for repeatedly videotaping and photographing the girls, then ages 8 and 10, from the bedroom window of his South Hill home as they used a family bathroom.

[March 2014] Steven was released from prison and registered as a sex offender on March 23, 2014. He served 30 months.

He registered as a level two sex offender.

[October 2014] Steven was arrested again for a reinstated charge of child pornography.

Steven was arrested after the appellate court ruled trial judge Ronald Culpepper was mistaken when he dismissed the charge saying video of two young neighbor girls did not meet the legal threshold for child porn.

“Child pornography does not have to be hardcore pornography to meet the definition under the law,” said Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Lindquist. “These are naked underage girls that he is videotaping and photographing.”

[July 2015] Steven undergoes another trial that last for nearly a week.

On July 13, 2015, it took jurors just a little over two hours to find him guilty of possessing child porn for taking pictures of the two neighbor girls.

[August 2015] A judge hands Steven the maximum sentence on child pornography charges.

In a bizarre, eight-minute long statement during his sentencing, Steven Powell blamed his conviction of possessing child porn on the investigation into his son Josh and the disappearance Susan Cox Powell.

[July 2017] Steven was released from custody.

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