First, the crimes were, as usual with death penalty cases, atrocious and inhuman:
Stacey, 16, Kristie, 14, were sisters. Powell knew their family and went to their house on the day of the murder. From the summary of the Supreme Court's denial of Powell's habeas appeal:
After Powell raped Kristie, he dressed himself, and he used shoelaces taken from Kristie's shoes to tie her feet together. He also used shoelaces to tie her arms behind her back. Someone knocked on the door to the house, and Powell went upstairs, leaving Kristie naked and bound on the basement floor.
While Powell was upstairs, Kristie was able to free her hands, and she tried to "scoot" across the floor and hide beneath the basement steps. Powell returned to the basement, removed Kristie's eyeglasses, and strangled her until she was unconscious. Powell stabbed Kristie in the stomach, and the knife stopped within a centimeter of her aorta. He slashed her in her neck numerous times, and the repair of the knife wounds required 61 sutures. She had multiple stab wounds to her neck and abdomen. She also had wounds on her wrists.
Stacy fared even worse:
Stacey's death was caused by a stab wound to her chest. The wound pattern indicated that the blade of the knife pierced her heart and was twisted upon withdrawal. The blade of Powell's knife was consistent with the stab wounds. There were numerous bruises on Stacey's head, neck, chest, abdomen, back, arms, and legs. She suffered stab wounds in her back and arm. She also had abrasions on her left hand and wrist that were characterized as defensive wounds. Stacey's body contained bruises on her lower neck that were consistent with someone stepping or stomping on her face and neck.
The second interesting thing about this case is that after his first capital murder conviction was reversed and remanded, Powell wrote this letter to Paul Ebert, the Commonwealth's Attorney who had prosecuted him:
Since I have already been indicted on first degree murder and the Va. Supreme Court said that I can't be charged with capital murder again, I figured I would tell you the rest of what happened on Jan. 29, 1999, to show you how stupid all of y'all mother fuckers are.
Y'all should have known that there is more to the story than what I told by what I said. You had it in writing that I planned to kill the whole family. Since I planned to kill the whole family, why would I have fought with Stacie before killing her? She
had no idea I was planning to kill everybody and talked and carried on like usual, so I could've stabbed her up at any time because she was unsuspecting.
I had other plans for her before she died. You know I came back to the house after
Bobby's lunch break was over and he had went back to work. When I got back, she was on the phone so I went inside and I laid down on the couch. When the cab came to bring me my pager, I ran out of the house and she jumped and got off the phone and came off the porch to see why I ran out of the house like I did. When the cab left we went in the house. I laid on the couch again and she went to her room and got her clothes and went downstairs to do her laundry. When she went downstairs, I got up and shut and locked the back door and went downstairs. We talked while she put her clothes in the wash. We continued talking when she had everything in the wash and I reached over and touched her tit and asked if she
wanted to fuck. She said no, because she had a boyfriend.
I started arguing with her because she had never turned anybody down because of having a boyfriend. "We started walking upstairs, arguing the whole time. When we got upstairs we went to her room and she turned the radio off. After she turned
the radio off I pushed her onto her bed and grabbed her wrists and pinned her hands down by her head and sat on top of her. I told her that all I wanted to do was fuck her and then I would leave and that we could do it the easy way or the hard way.
She said she would fuck me so I got up. After I got up, she got up and started fighting with me and clawed me face. We wrestled around a little and then I slammed her to the floor. When she hit the floor I sat on top of her and pinned her hands down
again. She said she would fuck me and I told her that if she tried fighting with me again, I would kill her.
When I got up she stood up and kept asking me why I was doing this and all I kept saying is take your clothes off. Finally she undid her pants and pulled them down to her ankles. She was getting ready to take them the rest of the way off and the phone
rang. When she heard the phone she pulled her pants back up and said she had to answer the phone. I pushed her back and said no. She said that she wouldn't say anything about me being there and I told her no and to take her clothes off.
She tried to get out of the room again and I pushed her back and pulled out my knife. I guess she thought I was just trying to scare her and that I wouldn't really stab her because she tried to leave again.
When she got to me and tried to squeeze between me and the door jam I stabbed her. When I stabbed her, she fell back against the door jam and just looked at me with a shocked look on her face.
When I pulled the knife out she stumbled a couple steps and fell in her sister's
room. I walked over and looked at her. I saw that she was still breathing so I stepped over her body and into the bedroom. Then I put my foot on her throat and stepped up so she couldn't breath. Then I stepped down and started stomping on her throat. Then I stepped back onto her throat and moved up and down putting more pressure to make it harder to breathe.
When I didn't see her breathing anymore, I left the room and got some iced tea and sat on the couch and smoked a cigarette. You know the rest of what happened after that point.
I would like to thank you for saving my life. I know you're probably wondering how you saved my life, so I'll tell you.
You saved my life by fucking up. There were main fuck-ups you made that saved me. The first was the way you worded my capital murder indictment. The second was the comment you made in your closing argument when you said we won't know because he won't tell us.
One more time, thank you! Now y'all know everything that happened in that house at 8023 McLean St. on Jan. 29, 1999.
I guess I forgot to mention these events when I was being questioned. Ha Ha! Sike!
I knew what y'all would be able to prove in court, so I told you what you already
knew. Stacey was dead and no one else was in the house so I knew ya'll would never know everything she went through unless she came back to life.
Since the Supreme Court said I can't be charged with capital murder again, I can tell you what I just told you because I no longer have to worry about the death penalty. And y'all are supposed to be so goddamn smart. I can't believe that y'all thought I told you everything.
Well, it's too late now. Nothing you can do about it now so fuck you you fat, cocksucking, cum guzzling, gutter slut. I guess I'll see your bitch ass on Dec. 18 at trial because I'm not pleading to shit. Tell the family to be ready to testify and relive it all again because if I have to suffer for the next 50 or 60 years or however long then they can suffer the torment of reliving what happened for a couple of days.
I'm gone. Fuck you and anyone like you or that associates with people like you. I almost forgot, fuck your god, too. Jesus knows how to suck a dick real good. Did
you teach him?
Well, die a slow, painful, miserable death. See ya punk.
Do you just hate yourself for being so stupid and for fuckin' up and saving me?
Here is an excellent first-hand account of Powell's execution.
...Paul Ebert was present to witness the execution. Powell did not live another 50 or 60 years, as he had predicted.