Paul Warner Powell
On January 29, 1999, in Manassas, Virginia, 20-year-old Powell killed his 16-year-old friend, Stacie Reed, upon learning she had a boyfriend. He first attempted to rape her, but when she fought off his advances, he stabbed her in the chest, puncturing her heart. Powell then drank iced tea and smoked, while waiting for Kristie Reed, Stacie's 14-year-old sister, to come home from school. When she arrived, Powell raped, strangled, and stabbed her in the stomach, before slashing her throat and leaving her to die. After arriving home and finding Stacie's body, the girls' stepfather frantically searched the house for the phone to call police and EMTs. He then found Kristie bleeding in the basement. Kristie ultimately survived - the scars on her neck serving as visible evidence of the brutal attack. She was able to provide valuable testimony against Powell at his trial.
Powell was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death, but the verdict was thrown out on appeal by the Virginia Supreme Court when the court decided that there was insufficient evidence to prove that Powell attempted to rape Stacie and that there were no other aggravating factors that would warrant a death sentence: the fact that Kristie had been raped could not serve as a basis for making Stacie's killing a capital murder. The conviction for the rape of Kristie Reed was upheld, and Powell was given three life sentences. Powell, believing that he no longer faced the death penalty because of double jeopardy, then wrote an abusive letter to the prosecutor and admitted that he attempted to rape Stacie and boasted about his crimes in detail, among several other taunting or threatening letters he sent to the victims' family.
Using the letter that Powell wrote, prosecutors indicted Powell again for the rape and murder of Stacie Reed. Powell was once again convicted, and was sentenced to death.
- Capital punishment in Virginia
- Capital punishment in the United States
- List of people executed in Virginia
- "Paul Warner Powell #1198". Clark County Indiana Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Retrieved 2012-12-24.
- Mears, Bill (25 January 2010). "Appeal denied for killer who sent taunting letter". CNN. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
- "Paul Warner Powell". I'm Surrounded By Idiots. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
- "Virginia executes man in 1999 murder of woman, rape of her sister". The Washington Post. March 19, 2010.