TACOMA, Wash. – Testimony in the voyeurism trial of Steve Powell, the father-in-law of missing Utah mother Susan Powell, came to an abrupt end Monday as prosecutors rested their case and defense attorneys declined to call their own witnesses.
The final volley of information explored a brief slice of Steve Powell's personal journals, concluding a trial with a very narrow scope. Neither side examined Steve Powell's relationship with Susan Powell, whose 2009 disappearance triggered scrutiny of the Washington man.
Steve Powell was never called to testify. He faces 14 voyeurism counts, including accusations that he filmed two neighbor girls using their second-floor bathroom.
A Utah investigator testified about an entry in Steve Powell's journal, which prosecutors say was uncovered during a search of his home last year. West Valley City Police Sgt. Todd Gray said Steve Powell wrote how he enjoyed taking video of "beautiful women of every age" and that he took the images for personal use.
Defense attorneys have at times pointed out that other people lived in Steve Powell's home, including Susan Powell's husband for a time after her disappearance. Josh Powell was being investigated in her disappearance before he killed himself and the couple's two children this year.
Susan Powell's father, Chuck Cox, said he wished his daughter had been a larger focus of the testimony in Steve Powell's trial. Authorities have said many images in Steve Powell's files were of Susan Powell and were taken without her knowledge.
Cox said it appeared that prosecutors were trying not to prejudice the jury by referencing Susan Powell.
"I think they were being too cautious," he said.
Steve Powell was arrested in the voyeurism case last year after authorities investigating Susan Powell's disappearance searched his home and found the images. Prosecutors say two neighbor girls filmed by Steve Powell were about 8 and 10 when the images were recorded in 2006-07.
The girls, identified in court only by their initials, testified last week that it never occurred to them that someone might be filming them as they washed, got dressed or used the toilet in their second-floor bathroom.
After testimony ended Monday, defense attorneys moved to dismiss all but two of the voyeurism counts, arguing prosecutors had failed to prove the images were from separate instances. But prosecutors said the images showed different levels of daylight, different clothing and different items in the background.
Judge Ronald Culpepper dismissed the defense motion.
Steve Powell faces a standard sentence of around four years if convicted, but the state has alleged aggravating factors that could result in a longer term. Closing arguments for the case were set for Tuesday.