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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

[KY] Not forgetting Jefferson County Police Officer Pamela Dawn Powell

[OCTOBER 2nd, 2001] Jefferson County Police Officer Pamela Dawn Powell appeared to investigators to have been shot in her sleep with her own service weapon. Her husband Robert "Bobby" Powell first claimed she had committed suicide, then claimed they had a suicide pact but that he just couldn't follow through when it was his turn. Pamela Powell's sister said "He's lying. She would never commit suicide," that her sister had been planning to leave him and had already packed her daughter's clothing. Robert was sentenced to life in prison.

...[Pamela] Powell will be remembered for her volunteer work and her generosity, [Officer Molly] Dentinger said. She spent a lot of time working on the department's Youth Summit this year and last year helped with Adam District's Christmas party for underprivileged youths... Last Christmas, Powell spent days sewing a bright green Grinch costume and elf get-ups for fellow officers to wear at the party... "She's really going to be missed in the community... She was jovial, crazy and fun"... 

SMALL TOWN DIDN'T TELL RESIDENTS OF LAWSUITS: Former officer got $75,000 in 2 cases against police chief 
The Courier-Journal
Scott Wade
February 21, 2000
[Excerpts] In the past three years, the city of Graymoor-Devondale has twice settled lawsuits against its police chief, Joseph Renzi - one for sexual harassment, the other for defamation... But Graymoor-Devondale leaders have never informed city residents about the lawsuits or settlements, nor told them that the chief was reprimanded for misconduct and insubordination for failing to get counseling. And Renzi remains police chief... "You just don't throw a guy out when he hits a little adversity or hits a bump in the road - you give him a break," said former City Council member Mike Kennedy... BOTH LAWSUITS were filed by Pamela Powell, who was fired by the city in September 1995 just hours after she filed the first suit. In the first lawsuit, Powell accused Renzi of making unwanted sexual advances in 1994 and '95... Powell filed the second lawsuit against Renzi and the city in July 1998 after she learned that Renzi had placed her picture on a dartboard in the police office above a hand-drawn picture of breasts and a sign with the words "Stick the Slut." That lawsuit, which claimed defamation, was settled Dec. 23 of last year... Powell, now a Jefferson County police officer, declined to comment... [Mayor John] Vaughan said there was no need for the city to publicize the matter... Council member [Thelma] Poe this week complained that the newspaper's reporting made the volunteer City Council "look bad... If we (told citizens what was happening), that would be like gossiping about our employees," she said... But Graymoor-Devondale resident Sally Craxton, who didn't know about the recent suit or settlement until told about it by a reporter, said residents should have been informed. "This is our city and our police chief and we wouldn't have known about it if it weren't for The CourierJournal," she said. "We have a right to know... As a woman, I'm affronted by the way he feels about women," she said. "Also, I think our police chief should be an exemplary person. Is this what we want our youth to see as an example of the person who is supposed to be enforcing the law?"...

MILLENNIAL MOTHERHOOD: Policewoman-mom-businesswoman-racing enthusiast enters Mrs. Kentucky contest for motivation 
The Courier-Journal
Mark Coomes
February 29, 2000
[Excerpts] Even by the standards of our turbo-charged times, Pamela Powell lives an outrageously fast, full life. She juggles five kids, a full-time job and vital roles in three family businesses. She also packs a gun, races motorbikes and hopes to be crowned Mrs. Kentucky 2000... Powell, 39, is a truly arresting figure: 5 feet 9 and 120 pounds, with raven hair and cinnamoncolored skin. She cuts quite a dash in her Jefferson County police uniform. And her racing gear. And her pageant gown. Her nightgown? Don't ask. That question might stump even Powell's husband, Bobby. He's usually asleep when she finally hits the hay around 1 a.m., and barely awake when she rises at 6:30 to get the children off to school. Thus begins a typical 18-hour day, typically packed with a week's worth of activities... "I'm a people person," she said. "If I was locked in a room where I couldn't talk to people, I'd probably climb the walls and start talking to myself." Powell needn't worry about the tortures of silence and solitude. Her Crestwood farm is home to a menagerie of children and critters, all lodged in a rustic A-frame overlooking a small pond. The Powells exchanged more than wedding vows in May 1998. Pamela had two children from a previous marriage... Bobby had three... "I guess we're sort of a modern-day Brady Bunch," Pamela Powell said... Her patrol rotation is six days on and one off... She races four-wheel ATVs... Bobby Powell plans to turn pro in the spring and already has lined up sponsors and an agent... "Oh, Bobby is a real hotshot," Pamela Powell said. "He thinks he's Evel Knievel." Powell is pretty Evel-minded herself... She decided to enter the Mrs. Kentucky pageant this June...

Offstage Archive
October - December 2001
Pamela Powell, a police officer in Kentucky who was Mrs. Jefferson County Globe 2000, has died. She placed third in the Mrs. Kentucky Globe Pageant and won the Family Values Award.

Lexington Herald-Leader
Thursday, October 4, 2001
[Excerpts] A Jefferson County police officer was found dead Tuesday in her home in Oldham County, authorities said. Pamela Dawn Powell , 41, was fatally shot, but police would not say whether her death appeared to be a homicide or suicide... Mrs. Powell was found in her Crestwood home about 8:20 a.m. Tuesday. Police would not say who found her... Mrs. Powell was a Woodford County native and a graduate of Bryan Station High School in Lexington. She had been a police equipment magazine model and had worked for the Scott County sheriff's department at one time. Mrs. Powell had been a Jefferson County officer for about five years. She also had worked with several youth programs, Biven said. Mrs. Powell , a finalist in the Mrs. Kentucky 2000 pageant, lived with her husband, Bobby... Mrs. Powell, then Pam Conway, had been fired by the Graymoor-Devondale City Council in September 1995, just hours after filing a lawsuit against the city and Police Chief Joseph Renzi...

POLICE OFFICER FOUND FATALLY SHOT AT HOME: Pamela Powell on county force about five years 
By Shannon Tangonan
The Courier-Journal
[Excerpts] ..."The men and women of the Jefferson County Police Department are saddened" by her death, [Jefferson County police spokesman Officer Robert] Biven said. Powell, a finalist in the Mrs. Kentucky 2000 pageant, lived with her husband, Bobby, in a two-story house next to her in-laws. They had several children between them in what she once told a reporter was a "modernday Brady Bunch" family... Last year Powell operated a tanning salon and did bookkeeping for her husband's excavating firm, as well as police work. Before joining the county force, she was a deputy with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department... Before that, she was employed by the Graymoor-Devondale Police Department, Yates said...

POLICE AWAIT TESTS IN OFFICER'S DEATH: Powell's friends recall work with children, jovial personality 
By Shannon Tangonan
The Courier-Journal
[Excerpts] Investigators were awaiting laboratory test results yesterday to help determine whether a Jefferson County police officer [Pamela Powell] found fatally shot in her Crestwood home Tuesday was killed or committed suicide. There were no updates... Meanwhile, friends reflected on the loss of a dedicated officer who often volunteered to work with children... "Any time you lose another officer like this, it's a shock to everyone," [Jefferson County Police Capt. Bob Schutte] Schutte said. Officer Julie Schmidt, of the Jefferson County police canine unit and a friend of Powell's, said she helped family members make arrangements yesterday.... "I paged Pam and I called her house and nobody answered. That's when I knew it was true, and I was devastated"... Officer Molly Dentinger, who had known Powell for about four years, said she last saw Powell on Friday when they both arrived to assist another officer on a run. "Pam came flying to quickly back this officer up," Dentinger said. While on that run, "she handed me an invitation to her Halloween party"... Powell will be remembered for her volunteer work and her generosity, Dentinger said. She spent a lot of time working on the department's Youth Summit this year and last year helped with Adam District's Christmas party for underprivileged youths... Last Christmas, Powell spent days sewing a bright green Grinch costume and elf get-ups for fellow officers to wear at the party... "She's really going to be missed in the community," Dentinger said. "She was jovial, crazy and fun."

The Courier-Journal
By Chris Kenning
Tuesday, October 9, 2001
[Excerpts] The husband of a Jefferson County police officer found dead at her Oldham County home last week has been charged with her murder. Police initially said tests were under way to determine if Officer Pamela Powell's shooting death was a homicide or suicide. Oldham County police arrested Robert L. Powell, 34, about 3 p.m. yesterday and charged him with first-degree murder... According to an arrest slip filed in Oldham District Court yesterday, Robert Powell shot "her in the head with a 9mm pistol"... Officer Robert Biven, a spokesman for Jefferson County police, said the arrest provided a measure of relief to a department that had been left with disturbing questions about Powell's death. The charges help "bring some closure," he said. Biven said Jefferson County detectives and evidence technicians helped with the investigation, and he praised Oldham County police for working quickly... [Pam's friend, Jefferson County police officer Julie] Schmidt said she hadn't spent much time with the Powells when they were together and wouldn't say if Pamela Powell had talked about any domestic trouble. "I'm just glad that her children will now know she didn't abandon them," she said...

SLAIN POLICE OFFICER'S HUSBAND HAS RECORD OF ASSAULT ARRESTS: Those charges were dismissed; he is now held in wife's death 
The Courier-Journal
By Shannon Tangonan
Wednesday, October 10, 2001
[Excerpts] An Oldham County man charged with the murder of his wife, a Jefferson County police officer, had two arrests in the last eight years involving domestic violence, court records show. Both cases of fourth-degree assault eventually were dismissed, and neither involved Officer Pamela Powell, whose body was found Oct. 2 at the home in Crestwood she shared with her husband, Robert L. "Bobby" Powell. She had been shot in the head... Pamela Powell's sister, Dana Scherrer, 39, of Ossian, Ind., said she never mentioned any domestic or financial trouble... Court records in Oldham County show Powell was arrested in two domestic disputes, one dating to 1993 involving a former wife, and the other in 1995 involving a woman with whom he shared a child. According to an arrest warrant filed in Oldham County District Court in March 1993, Stacy Powell said Robert Powell became angry with her and "grabbed her by the throat causing pain and slapping (her) when she tried to defend herself." She told police he also threatened to "rip her head off"... In the 1995 case, a domestic-abuse report stated that Melissa Holstein said that Powell pushed her "to the floor and held her there by the neck causing red marks." The report said the assault occurred as part of an ongoing confrontation...

The Woodford Sun
October 11, 2001
[Excerpts] Pamela Dawn Powell, 41, of Oldham County, formerly of Woodford County, a Jefferson County police officer, wife of Bobby Powell, died Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2001, at her residence of a gunshot wound. Authorities were investigating. Born Aug. 11, 1960, in Woodford County, she was the daughter of Amalid Garcia, Versailles. She formerly worked for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. In addition to her husband, she is survived by a son... a daughter... two step-daughters... a step-son... three brothers... three sisters...

Kentucky News Briefs
Friday, October 12, 2001
[Excerpts] A Crestwood man accused of killing his wife - a Jefferson County police officer - pleaded innocent on Wednesday in Oldham District Court.
A judge ordered Robert L. Powell, 34, to remain in the Oldham County jail under a $1 million cash bond... Mr. Powell is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 41-year-old Pamela Powell...

SPOUSE PLEADS GUILTY TO OFFICER'S MURDER: Victim's family rejects his claim that she had agreed to suicide pact 
The Courier-Journal
Shannon Tangonan
April 27, 2002
[Excerpts] Saying they both planned to take their lives because of "mental, emotional and financial problems," Robert L. "Bobby" Powell changed his plea to guilty yesterday in the October murder of his wife, Pamela, a Jefferson County police officer. "As she was raising the gun, my hand touched her hand and we put it to her head and the gun went off," Powell said in court. But when he put the gun to his own head, "I could not do it," Powell told Oldham Circuit Judge Paul W. Rosenblum. The judge accepted Powell's guilty plea, but Pamela Powell's tearful relatives and friends could not accept his explanation of what happened. And commonwealth's attorney Kim Snell told the court that evidence gathered by investigators conflicted with Bobby Powell's story that his wife was a willing participant... Pamela Powell's sister, Tonya Jones, said she knew all along that her brother-in-law was guilty, and wasn't buying his story. "He's lying. She would never commit suicide"... She said her sister had been planning to leave Bobby Powell, and had already packed her daughter's clothing... Steve Jones, the husband of Tonya Jones, said Pamela Powell hadn't talked as if she were preparing to kill herself. She was planning for Thanksgiving and collecting toys for needy children for Christmas, he said...

MAN SENTENCED FOR KILLING WIFE, POLICE OFFICER PAMELA POWELL: Oldham killer claimed they had suicide pact 
The Courier-Journal
Tonia Holbrook
June 6, 2002
[Excerpts] Robert L. "Bobby" Powell was sentenced to life in prison yesterday for the murder of his wife, Pamela Powell, a Jefferson County police officer. Saying "the loss of Pam Powell can only be described as tragic," Oldham Circuit Judge Paul Rosenblum handed down the maximum sentence. Bobby Powell will be eligible for parole in 20 years... Pamela Powell, then Pamela Conway, married Bobby Powell in May 1998 and helped him run his excavating business. They had five children from previous marriages and lived in Crestwood. Court records show that Powell had been arrested twice in the last eight years for domestic violence against his ex-wife and a woman with whom he had a child. He also was arrested in 1998 on a charge of flagrant nonsupport of that child, and again last year on a charge of nonpayment of child support. In court yesterday, Powell said nothing except to state his name and answered a question from Rosenblum with a soft "No, sir." After more than an hour of testimony by friends and relatives on behalf of Bobby and Pamela Powell, [Commonwealth's Attorney Kim] Snell said that while justice had been done, it was a sad day for everyone involved. "The rest of Pamela Powell's natural life is what he took, and the rest of his natural life is what he should forfeit for it," Snell said. Pamela Powell's brotherin-law, Steve Jones, agreed with the ruling, but said "there's never any satisfaction in a situation like this." Her friends and family told Rosenblum that she had planned to leave her husband - that he wasn't pulling his weight in the family's finances and that she was no longer happy. Her ex-husband, Ray Caudill, said that's why Powell shot her. Those who spoke on Bobby Powell's behalf said that they also grieve over his wife's death, and pleaded with Rosenblum to send him to an institution close by so that his family could visit him often... Pamela Powell's sister, Dana Scherrer, tearfully told Bobby Powell that she doesn't feel sorry for him. "I'll never forgive you for what you've done to us. I don't want anybody to see you - not unless they have to see you the same way I have to see my sister," Scherrer said.

APPEALS COURT BACKS NEW HEARING: Man wants murder conviction set aside
The Courier-Journal
By Andrew Wolfson
[Excerpts] The Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that Robert L. Powell is entitled to a hearing on his motion to set aside his conviction for murdering his wife, a Jefferson County police officer. Powell, 37, contends that he was given ineffective counsel when he pleaded guilty to the Oct. 2, 2001, murder of his wife, Pamela. In his motion, Powell claimed his lawyer failed to adequately investigate whether he acted under extreme emotional disturbance. But Oldham Circuit Judge Paul Rosenblum denied his motion without a hearing... Powell pleaded guilty in exchange for a life sentence, which he is serving at the Northpoint Training Center in Burgin. Snell said in an interview yesterday that he is confident Powell's plea will stand. If Powell had been convicted of murder while under extreme emotional disturbance, the conviction would be reduced to manslaughter, for which the penalty is 10 to 20 years in prison. Kentucky law says a person acts under extreme emotional disturbance when in a temporary state of mind "so enraged, inflamed, or disturbed as to overcome one's judgment, and to cause one to act uncontrollably" from the emotional disturbance "rather than from evil or malicious purposes." The law says there must be a "a reasonable explanation or excuse" for the state, "the reasonableness of which is to be determined from the viewpoint of a person in the defendant's situation." Pamela Powell, 41, had served as a Jefferson County police officer since 1993. She was shot with her service weapon.

Andrea Uhde
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
[Excerpts] An Oldham County Circuit Court judge has denied a motion to set aside the conviction of Robert L. Powell, a Crestwood man who murdered his wife, a Jefferson County police officer. Judge Karen Conrad ruled on March 30 that Powell's attorney, Jerry McGraw, adequately represented him during his trial, despite Powell's allegations to the contrary. "The Court can find no fault with the representation of defense counsel and finds that the Defendant was given more than ample opportunity to pursue a defense of extreme emotional disturbance had he so desired," Conrad wrote in her 16-page decision. Powell, 40, was sentenced in June 2002 to life in prison for murdering Pamela Powell. He is eligible for parole on Oct. 4, 2021...
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