Stephen Powers was sentenced to death by the State of Mississippi for the attempted sexual assault and murder of a woman. According to court documents Stephen Powers attempted to sexually assault the woman and as she fought him off Powers would shoot her multiple times causing her death. Stephen Powers would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death.
Stephen Powers 2021 Information
|Race: BLACK||Sex: MALE||Date of Birth: 05/15/1969|
|Height: 5′ 5”||Weight: 150||Complexion: MEDIUM BROW|
|Build: MEDIUM||Eye Color: BROWN||Hair Color: BLACK|
|Entry Date: 12/16/2000||Location: MSP||UNIT: UNIT 29|
|Location Change Date: 08/03/2017||Number of Sentences: 1||Total Length: DEATH|
Stephen Powers More News
On the afternoon of June 13, 1998, Elizabeth Lafferty was introduced to Powers and his nephew, “Junior” or “Jay” Otis, Jr. by a mutual friend, Eddie Barnes. The four decided to cook out and drink beer at Lafferty’s home. Later, Otis and Barnes left the Lafferty home, leaving Powers and Lafferty alone. Lafferty’s body was discovered at approximately 1:00 a.m. the next morning in the hallway. Lafferty had been shot five times, three at a point-blank range in the back of the head, once under the chin, and once in the temple. The State’s experts were unable to determine the order in which the shots occurred. The bullets came from a .22 caliber gun.
¶ 4. Photographs were introduced at the trial to explain the position of the body in the hallway where it was found. The maxim “a picture is worth a thousand words” certainly holds true in this case. While words cannot fully illustrate the prone position in which the victim was found, suffice it to say that the victim’s legs were spread open more than ninety degrees, with a foot in each of the doors of the bedroom and bathroom, which are on opposite sides of the hallway where she was found. The left leg was raised slightly higher than the right and wedged within the doorjam to the bedroom. Her shorts were “wadded up” around the left ankle (keeping in mind that except for these wadded up shorts, she was nude from the waist down). The body had several injuries consistent with defensive posturing, including abrasions to the back of her right upper arm, back of her left hand, and on the right knee. Although Lafferty was menstruating, no feminine hygiene products were found on or near her body.
¶ 5. Upon learning that Stephen Powers was the last person seen with Lafferty and that he had a .22 caliber gun on the night in question, police obtained a search warrant. On Sunday, June 14 at approximately 8:00 p.m., the police searched Powers’s apartment and then arrested him. Powers was advised of his Miranda rights, but signed a waiver of those rights. Powers began writing a statement that the gun was in the woods, then stopped and agreed to take the police to the gun. After leading the police on several pretextual excursions to locate the gun, Powers finally led the police to a shed behind his apartment where a .22 caliber gun and bullets were found. Powers made the statement that “you did not have a case until I gave you the murder weapon.” Thereafter, Powers was taken back to the police station where he produced a written statement admitting that he killed Lafferty and left her body in her final position and state of undress. Powers told police that he and Lafferty “struggled with the gun, and the gun went off.” Powers denied having sex with Lafferty and claimed that she voluntarily partially undressed herself because she was “playing” around with him.
¶ 6. After making the statement, Stephen Powers asked to use the restroom. A search of his person revealed what appeared to be a blood-stained note to his mother located in his crotch area. The handwritten note said: “Everything I do is wrong.” However, the note was never tested to determine whether the stains were indeed blood or not. Powers also admitted taking a computer from Lafferty’s home and placing it in a nearby alley, where it was later picked up by Powers’s brother and/or his girlfriend.
¶ 7. While cleaning Powers’s apartment after his arrest, his mother found a used sanitary napkin rolled up in one of Powers’s baseball caps. This was turned over to the police. At trial, Powers’s mother testified for the State. On cross-examination, she testified that Powers’s girlfriend gave the used sanitary napkin to Powers as some sort of “hex” or “voodoo-type thing” to keep him from having sex with any other female. Although the sanitary napkin was sent to the State Crime Lab for analysis, the Crime Lab personnel were unable to positively match the blood on the napkin with that of the victim.
¶ 8. At trial, witnesses placed Powers at the scene with the gun immediately prior to the shooting. Additionally, testimony revealed that after Lafferty’s body was found, a nervous Powers told his friend that “something happened” to Lafferty.
¶ 9. The jury found all four of the Enmund factors: the defendant actually killed, attempted to kill, intended that a killing take place, and contemplated that lethal force would be employed. Enmund v. Florida, 458 U.S. 782, 102 S.Ct. 3368, 73 L.Ed.2d 1140 (1982). The jury also found, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the capital offense was committed while Powers was engaged in the commission of or an attempt to commit the crime of rape and that the capital offense was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel. Finally, the jury found that there were “insufficient mitigating circumstances to outweigh the aggravating circumstances” and “that the defendant should suffer death.