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Washington state prosecutors on Friday filed a court document that outlines who they may call as witnesses next month during the weeklong trial for the father-in-law of missing West Valley City woman Susan Cox Powell.
Among the state's list of witnesses to call for the May 7 trial of Steven Powell in Tacoma's Pierce County Superior Court are 12 members of the West Valley City Police Department and Powell's estranged daughter, Jennifer Graves of West Jordan.
Steve Powell, 61, is charged with 14 counts of voyeurism and one count of possessing an image of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Those identified on the list as employees of the West Valley City Police Department include Ellis Maxwell, a detective who has been working on the case of Susan Powell since her 2009 disappearance. John Dietrich, John LeFavor, Mike McPhie, Michael Schwemmer, Michael Fossmo, Phil Quinlan, Steven Katz, William Merritt, Robert Bobrowski, Todd Gray and Tracy Catmull all on the West Valley City police force also appear to be witnesses, the document shows.
Twelve of the 28 witnesses on the list are employed by West Valley City. Another eight witnesses are employed by the Pierce County Sheriff's Office, the document shows.
Other witnesses on the list are only identified by their initials presumably the victims whom Steve Powell is accused of surreptitiously filming.
Graves has publicly spoken about her difficult relationship with her father and said he had problems with pornography when she was growing up in the Powells' Washington home. She has also said she believes her father may know what happened to Susan Powell.
The witness list unveiled Friday follows a Thursday filing from prosecutors, who argued in court documents that the majority of evidence taken from the home of Steve Powell can be used at the upcoming voyeurism trial. The filing disputed arguments from Steve Powell's defense attorneys, who have argued that a search warrant in the case was too broad.
"The warrant is valid and there is no basis to suppress the evidence seized," wrote prosecutor Grant Blinn in his motion. "There is probable cause for the items to be seized, there is a nexus to the crimes being investigated and the search warrant is particular in what is being sought."
Before Steve Powell's trial starts next month in front of Pierce County Superior Court Judge Ronald E. Culpepper, an April 23 hearing is scheduled on the defense motion to suppress evidence.
The Washington attorneys representing Steve Powell claim some evidence obtained by law enforcement including a CD containing photos from a locked compartment in Powell's bedroom during an Aug. 25 search of his Puyallup, Wash., home was gathered through an overly broad search warrant that violated his constitutional rights.
The search warrant allowed law enforcement to seize journals belonging to Susan Powell, digital media that contained copies of her journals, as well as "any other fruits or instrumentalities determined to be evidence of kidnapping, homicide and obstruction of justice."
Powell's attorneys argue that taking the CDs violated his Fourth Amendment rights since law enforcement didn't explain why the journals would have any evidence of criminal conduct, what type of information may be in the journals or how that information may be evidence of a crime or assist in providing investigative leads.
Law enforcement had one Susan Powell journal written from January 2002 to October 2009, which included entries during the time she was married to Josh Powell the only publicly named person of interest in the case before he killed himself and his two sons in February in a blaze set at his Graham, Wash., rental home.
In his Thursday motion, Blinn stated the search warrant wasn't overly broad and that the seized journals tied into the Susan Powell investigation.
"As the journals were written by the victim of the homicide investigation who has yet to be located, their content was very relevant and could develop further leads as to who to talk to or where to search. There is a nexus to the crimes," Blinn wrote.
"The search warrant lists out real crimes that are being investigated. The search warrant does not depend on generalized statements about people who commit murders or kidnappings and does not just ask for the seizure of a computer to see what is on it," Blinn wrote.
The search warrant specifically sought access to devices that could contain digital copies of the journals, Blinn wrote.
"... The digital images were known to exist but the investigators did not know the extent of the digital copies or precisely what device they were stored on. The paragraph was as specific as it could be given the information that the investigators knew at the time," Blinn wrote.
Steve Powell's attorneys have said he was cooperative with police consenting to two searches of his home, which he had been sharing with his sons and grandsons, before the August search warrant was issued. Steve Powell also gave multiple interviews to law enforcement and told them about the journals in a November 2010 email, they argue.
Blinn wrote that while Steve Powell consented to a May 11, 2010, search of his home, his cooperation with investigators did not continue.
"Defendant did not turn over the journals. Instead, defendant and his son tried to bargain with the investigators ... they would release a copy of the journals and would only release that if the investigators turned over to them the journal that investigators had in their possession," Blinn wrote.
Steve Powell later withdrew his offer to release the journals, Blinn wrote.
During an initial court hearing for Steve Powell last fall, Blinn said Steve Powell took images over a 10-year span, although the court case focuses on voyeurism episodes from 2006 and 2007. Powell, who has pleaded not guilty, is being held in the Pierce County Jail on a $200,000 bail.
Sheriff's deputies from Tacoma, Wash., arrested Steve Powell on Sept. 22 after detectives from West Valley City returned to search the home Powell shared with Josh Powell; his grandsons; and his adult children Alina Powell and John Powell.
The search warrants, unsealed earlier this month, detail Steve Powell's sexual interest in his daughter-in-law and also state he secretly filmed underneath her skirt.
An attorney for Chuck and Judy Cox, Susan Powell's parents, has previously said the Cox family is hopeful Steve Powell's trial may possibly bring forth answers in the case of their missing daughter.