Paul Warner Powell could be the first man put to death in part for sheer cockiness. Powell was convicted in a second trial of the murder and attempted rape of Stacie Reed, 16. The evidence against him included a letter that he wrote to prosecutors mocking them with admissions of his crime after he assumed that he could not be tried again for the crime after a reversal.
Powell was convicted in the 1999 murder of Stacie Reed and the rape of her 14-year-old sister in their Manassas home. In his letter, he wrote “[s]ince I have already been indicted on first degree murder and the Va. Supreme Court said that I can’t be charged with capital murder again, I figured I would tell you the rest of what happened on Jan. 29, 1999, to show you how stupid all of y’all … are.”
He added “I guess I forgot to mention these events when I was being questioned. Ha Ha!” he wrote in 2001. “Do you just hate yourself for being so stupid … and saving me?” Not really. He died at 9 pm last night.
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