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Court battle settled over Susan Powell insurance money

Published March 27, 2015 8:00 am

Legal • Details of the agreement over the $2.3 million policy were not disclosed.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The family of missing Utah mother Susan Powell has settled a court battle over insurance money with the family of her husband, Josh Powell, who was the only suspect in her disappearance, The Associated Press reports.

Court records show the two sides reached an agreement in Salt Lake City on Thursday, resolving the dispute over some $2.3 million in life insurance proceeds.

Details about the settlement were not publicly disclosed in court records.



Susan Powell disappeared in 2009 and has never been found. While Josh Powell was investigated as a suspect in his wife's disappearance, he wasn't arrested before he killed himself and the couple's boys in 2012.

Attorneys did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment on the case.

West Valley City police believe Susan Powell was kidnapped and killed by Josh Powell, on Dec. 6, 2009 — the last day the 28-year-old woman was seen alive.

Utah law says that someone "who is absent for a continuous period of five years" is presumed to be dead. Though that date passed in December 2014, attorneys for Susan Powell's parents, Chuck and Judy Cox, have said they have no plans to ask a judge for such a declaration.

But Terrica and Alina Powell, the mother and sister, respectively, of Josh Powell, had asked a Utah judge to find that the missing woman died prior to May 10, 2013.

That's the date when Chuck Cox made changes to the legal trust belonging to Susan and Josh that eliminated Josh Powell's family as beneficiaries. Cox was acting under a provision to the trust that allowed a trustee to be appointed if Josh and Susan were dead or incapacitated.

In 2014, a federal judge in Tacoma, Wash., awarded $2.3 million in life insurance proceeds to Josh and Susan Powell's trust and a related conservatorship controlled by the Coxes.

Anne Bremner, an attorney for the Coxes, has previously said that leaving the Powells as heirs to the trust would be rewarding them for Josh Powell's bad behavior.

Josh Powell was the only person of interest after his wife disappeared from their West Valley City home.

On Feb. 5, 2012, Josh Powell, 36, killed himself and his and Susan's two sons, 7-year-old Charlie and 5-year-old Braden, inside a rented home in Graham, Wash. The boys were there for what was supposed to be a supervised visit. But Josh Powell locked a social services worker out of the house, hit both boys in the head with a hatchet and then set fire to the residence, which he had doused with gasoline.

 

 

 

 

 

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