Nearly two years after the body of a Mamaroneck mother was found stuffed into a closet in her Baldwin Place home, the man charged with her murder was convicted this week by a jury and could spend the remainder of his life in jail.
Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore announced today that Reginald Powell, 56, of 392 North St. in White Plains, was convicted of one count of first degree murder, a class “A-1” felony; one count of third degree criminal possession of a controlled substance , a class “B” felony; one count of second degree burglary, a class “C” felony; two counts of third degree grand larceny, class “D” felonies; two counts of third degree possession of stolen property in the third degree, class “D” felonies and one count of seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class “A” misdemeanor, all relating to death of Jennifer Katz in December, 2010.
Powell was stopped by police in Central Harlem on Dec. 30, 2010 for making an illegal right turn. He was driving Katz's SUV and was in possession of four of her rings; he also had narcotics on him.
Once he was in police custody, Powell made reference to a body at a home on Baldwin Place, according to a statement sent out by the DA's office today. Later, Village of Mamaroneck Police investigated the home and found Katz's body. He was indicted by a grand jury in White Plains in June 2011, to which he pled not guilty.
”This defendant brutally and viciously murdered a mother of two young women, placed her body in a closet then stole her jewelry and her car. His explanations of his whereabouts at the time of the murder were riddled with lies and inconsistencies. His protestations of innocence were belied by simple facts and forensics. His total lack of remorse, exemplified by his actions after the killing, was clearly evident, all of which lead to his being convicted,” said DiFiore after the jury’s verdict.
This is the second time Powell was convicted of murder. In 1982, he brutally shot a Mamaroneck cab driver in the face on the New England Thruway, a crime which he served 25 1/2 years in prison for. He was "drugged up," according to parole records from October 2004. Powell was paroled in October 2008 after several family members, including his brother, Bishop Wayne Powell of Strait Gate Church in Mamaroneck, petitioned for his release.
Reginald and Katz became aquainted through Wayne Powell, Reginald's brother and Katz's ex-boyfriend. Reginald would occasionally do odd jobs around the single mother's home.
The verdict was bittersweet for Katz's family members though, said her brother, John Malik.
"It is sad that so many lives were affected and hurt by the actions of one person. Choices, we all make them, and no man is 'an island,'" he said, continuing, "Honestly, there is no feeling of winning or celebration as it really does not change the end result. However, it does provide some respite in the fact that this portion has come to an end; except for sentencing there will not be any more days listening to details about her last hours of life."
Reginald will be sentenced on Feb. 28, 2013.
Assistant District Attorney Michelle Lopez, Deputy Chief of the Sex Crimes Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Timothy Ward, Chief of Career Criminal Bureau prosecuted the case.
Editor's Note: A quote from Jennifer Katz's brother was added to the original version of this article.