Cop Killer Sentenced to Death
May 20, 2011
Defense attorney Stephanie Tsantes said she hoped that the Delaware Supreme Court, on appeal, would find a reason to overturn Powell’s death sentence.
“The fight is not over; it’s just beginning,” Tsantes said after meeting with Powell following the sentencing.
“He’s keeping a brave face…. I think his concern is for his family,” she said.
Powell, who also was sentenced to 82 years in prison for attempted robbery and other crimes linked to Spicer’s death, joins 18 other inmates awaiting execution in Delaware. The state’s last execution was in 2005
Georgetown police chief William Topping said Spicer’s death has had a profound effect on the community and the police department, and that the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for Powell.
“He has no redeeming qualities, and he has no business out here in society,” Topping said.
Police officer Shawn Brittingham, who was patrolling with Spicer on the night he was killed and driving the police cruiser that pursued Powell and the other robbery suspects, declined to comment but smiled and embraced well-wishers after the sentencing.
Defense attorneys suggested at trial that another man riding with Powell in the back seat of the car being pursued by police had fired the shot that killed Spicer. They noted that while both Powell and the other man, Luis Flores, had gunshot residue on their hands, Powell had no gunshot residue on his shirt and Flores appeared to be the major contributor of DNA on the weapon’s trigger.
Powell’s lawyers also argued that Powell was brain-damaged from the abuse he suffered as a child, presenting evidence and testimony about physical and verbal abuse by his parents and grandparents, chronic behavioral problems and violent outbursts in grade school, and diagnosed mental disorders.
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