Despite his repeated denials that he murdered Mamaroneck mother Jennifer Katz, Reginald Powell, 56, was sentenced to life in prison without parole on a first degree murder charge in White Plains Court today.
After Judge James Hubert delivered Powell’s sentence, he said, “It is my intention to see you are never free to walk among us.”
Powell’s charges included seven felony charges: first degree murder, second degree burglary, two counts each of third degree grand larceny, two counts each of third degree possession of stolen property, third degree criminal possession of a controlled substance as well as a seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance charge, a misdemeanor. He was sentenced to an additional 41 to 55 years to be served consecutively.
Powell—who appeared in court wearing a beige suit with grey pinstripes—remained expressionless throughout much of the court appearance. Two of his family members were present in the courtroom.
Although choked with emotion, both John and Dale Malik—Katz’s brothers—read victim impact statements that discussed how their lives had been permanently altered by Katz’s murder.
“Words cannot express the grief we feel,” said Dale, his voice breaking, “No evil, no matter how proud or deceitful, can take that away.”
John spoke of his sister and her trusting nature, her good heart and how profound the effect her passing had on so many.
“It’s going to be shared from generation to generation,” he said, referring to the grandchildren Katz would never meet.
“My heart breaks because my sister can’t be here…I can’t drive by her ‘Mets’ house and make fun of her,” he said, continuing, “Her love didn’t know any bounds—she gave and gave and gave.” Katz's house is painted bright blue in support of her favorite baseball team.
Assistant District Attorney Michelle Lopez read a statement from Katz’s daughter, Stephanie.
Upon receiving the phone call that her mother had passed away on Dec. 31, 2010, Stephanie wrote, “That marks the day my life completely changed…I would never return home again.”
“I no longer have a true family. I am like a crooked piece in a puzzle that won’t fit,” the statement said.
"Reggie Powell needs to stay behind bars for the rest of his life," she wrote.
When asked for his statement, Powell said, “There’s no doubt that I’m guilty of some of these charges…but on the charge of murder, I’m just not guilty.”
Powell rhetorically asked what his motive would be for murder: “One of the most caring people you will meet is Jennifer Katz. I didn’t have to steal from her or take from her, I just asked.”
Alluding to a predator in the wild who eats a weaker animal without remorse, Judge Hubert said, “It’s his nature…Reginald Powell is a murderer.”
On Dec. 30, 2010, Powell was pulled over by NYPD while driving Katz’s SUV in central Harlem. He fled on foot, but was later caught with Katz’s jewelry and narcotics. Later, Powell made reference to a body in Mamaroneck. After Village of Mamaroneck Police searched Katz’s Baldwin Place home, they discovered her body, stuffed into a closet.
According to parole records, Powell tried heroin when he was 13. When he was 26, he murdered a cab driver on the New England Thruway while “drugged up” on a mixture of heroin, cocaine and LSD, shooting him twice in the face at close range with a .30-05 Springfield rifle. Powell recalls blanking out at the moment of the murder, according to records. After serving 25 ½ years of his prison sentence, Powell was paroled in October 2008, after several family members petitioned for his release.