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UPDATED: Judge rules Powell boys ‘cannot safely be returned home’

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on Sep. 28, 2011 at 7:05 am with 18 Comments »
September 28, 2011 2:55 pm

UPDATED at 2:43 p.m.

A Pierce County judge ruled this afternoon that the sons of a missing Utah mother cannot be safely returned to their father, who has long been a person of interest in his wife’s 2009 disappearance.

Judge Kathryn Nelson issued the ruling after hearing from the state and Josh Powell regarding the custody of Josh and Susan Cox Powell’s two sons, ages 4 and 6.

Nelson awarded temporary custody of the boys to Susan Cox Powell’s parents, Chuck and Judy Cox. Josh Powell has been granted supervised visits.

The sons were taken into state custody late Thursday after Pierce County sheriff’s detectives arrested their paternal grandfather on allegations of voyeurism and possession of child pornography.

Josh Powell and his two sons have been living with his father, Steven Powell, since shortly after Susan Cox Powell went missing from the family’s Utah home in December 2009. Steven Powell pleaded not guilty Friday to 14 counts of voyeurism and one count of possession of child pornography after thousands of sexually-explicit images of young girls and women were found in his bedroom. Investigators have said it appeared those pictured were not aware that they were being photographed.

After the elder Powell’s arrest, Susan Cox Powell’s parents filed for custody of her young sons.

An attorney representing the state, an attorney for Chuck and Judy Cox and Josh Powell started arguing over the custody of the two boys Tuesday.

Nelson was originally supposed to issue her ruling this morning. That was delayed, however, after a request from KIRO TV to live stream the proceeding. Nelson ruled this afternoon to allow for the video footage.


Leave a comment Comments → 18
  1. TV coverage request controls court time?

  2. DoradoTheDog says:

    KIRO- Really? You are not supposed to be the news, only report it. There is no way I would let cameras in this one, if only for the kid’s sake (last thing they need is kids saying- “I saw your dad on the news!” any more.

  3. Rowdy_Rob says:

    Way to go KIRO. Another reason for me to dislike your news coverage…

  4. Wow! That is pretty selfish of KIRO. This delay will make an already traumatizing situation for these children last even longer.

  5. guidocarmasi says:

    Makes heartwarming news!!! aLONG WITH mIKE jACKSONS TRIAL, what else can a bored Tacoman do with his/her time?

    great idea KIRON

  6. dirtydan54 says:

    Gonna have to get a copy of the judicial record on this one. I’ll bet my last dollar this judge destroyed the parent-child relationship without any evidence anywhere near the minimum threshold requirement. And obscenely violated the fathers fundamental rights in doing so.

    Even if she did she will have proved she is ready for a promotion instead of facing criminal charges. Thats how its done in Pierce County Superior Court.

    Biggest gang of criminals in Pierce Co. are housed in the County-City building in downtown Tacoma. Makes for a warm and cozy association among the criminals occupying the building.

  7. duckfan4ever says:

    Judges have immunity from any criminal prosecution or civil liability that might otherwise arise from their judicial decisions. In this instance, the Judge’s decisions (allowing KIRO News to turn her courtroom into a media circus, and then removing the children from their father’s care and custody based merely on emotion and speculation rather than on solid legal principles) should make Judge Nelson very pleased that she enjoys such immunity from liability in the performance of her judicial duties. Perhaps the voters will have the final say when she runs for re-election in 2012.

  8. heypaula says:

    Seems to be a high rate of anti-government/court sentiment on this issue. My only concern is that the little boys were living with the Grand father who is obviously some kind of sexual pervert………that can’t be a very healthy invironment for them. Would you want your small children living with him?

  9. Suspected of killing his wife, now also suspect in being a porn freak and maybe even a pedo? Fate is not kind to this guy. Well, we’ll see what drains out in the wash. Can someone double the spin-cycle speed?

  10. In this instance, JUSTICE is S W E E T !!!!!! Good ‘Ol Dad and Gramps better take plenty of Lube – they’ll need it where they’re goin’ !!!

  11. Ortingmom says:

    The children were living in a home filled with porn, and pictures of neighborhood children among other things. Until all the evidence is looked at there is no way the Judge can take a chance with those children.

  12. Lordbulify says:

    OKAY I get many of the post that express frustration with the judge and even more so with KIRO but, a DA has stated that the kids dad is involved in the porn issue.. Maybe this is the DA is lying in hopes that this guy will cave on the missing mom issue?? But I think that the judge did not have much choice with the DA /Lead Investigator saying it looks like were gong to put this dad in the slammer on some porn charges.

    All of this makes me wonder if Grandpa did his daughter in-law in and his son does not know it or he does and is protecting his dad???? Either way this whole thing has some stink to it and Josh may well be getting it from behind but, not sure of that. I think that the boys will be safe and loved with Susan’s parents and will still get to see dad while the cards keep crashing down all around all of them……

  13. colsprague says:

    While I agree that family court issues are best not televised, I applaud both the judge and KIRO for taking the time to hash this out. Our justice system, indeed our entire system of government, is based on openness. If the courts are closed then we cannot truly trust what goes on inside them. Our television and newspaper reporters serve the function, absolutely necessary in a free and just society, of allowing us to see what happens inside courtrooms most of us simply don’t have the time to monitor in person.

  14. O.K. KIRO, Im jumping on the bandwagon too! Why did they want this mess with two little boys lives in the balance on video? I really love Dori Munson, and Steve Reibel. Not gonna watch or listen!!!

  15. fivecardstud says:

    Sounds like her honor is worried more about publicity than she is justice. nShe must have her eye on Judge Judy’s job.

  16. i knewit i knew it i knew it!!!!!!these perverted %$#* FINALLY get all caught up in their bull crud!!!!i am soooo glad the other grandparents FINALLY get the kids …i knew if they were patient they would get them..[per earlier post..months ago] just had to wait for their lil world crumble around them…maybe susan knew something,or seen something and was gonna turn them in?????who knows the disghusting man is locked up and hopefully will never get out to harm anyone ever again!!!!it just too too bad these poor kids are drug threw all this mess!!!lots of prayers of healing go out to susans family!!!!

  17. The motive is emerging.

  18. tonnibell says:

    Do we all forget that these kids still have to deal with the ‘real world.’? C’mon, we all know how smart kids are even at their ages and who knows what they have been told about their Mom… they have been bounced around & having KIRO put everything on TV so they wont be able to get away from thie terror no matter where they go. Good lord, lets think about the kids. No-one else deserves the time of day!

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