A Texas man who killed his live-in girlfriend, cut up her body into small pieces, and dissolved the remains in chemicals was sentenced to life behind bars for the horrifying murder, prosecutors said this week.
Kevin Wayne Powell, 50, described in local reports as a self-employed home remodeler, was found guilty of capital murder in connection to the gruesome 2015 slaying of Kasey Rae Nutter, 28, the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office said in a statement Wednesday.
He received an automatic sentence of life in prison without parole.
Back in the fall of 2015, Nutter made many claims of abuse against Powell, including a pending charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, the statement said. Witnesses believed Powell became paranoid that Nutter was speaking to police behind his back and might seek retribution against her.
The woman’s last known communication to anyone was in December of that year, prosecutors said.
When her grandmother reported her missing in early 2016, authorities launched a probe — prompting one of Powell’s relatives to come forward.
The relative testified that the woman’s much-older beau told him that he’d “taken care of” Nutter — murdering her, cutting her body into small pieces with multiple power saws, dissolving the remains in chemicals and disposing of them, according to the report.
Then evidence was found indicating that Powell had repainted his home bedroom and began covering certain areas with furniture screwed onto the wall. He had also pawned his saws shortly after a missing person’s report was filed, prosecutors said.
With a search warrant, cops raided Powell’s home and found DNA evidence confirmed to be Nutter’s that the man had attempted to hide along floors and baseboards.
Investigators continued to search for Nutter for three years, but never found any information indicating she was alive, prosecutors said.
Joetta Keene, Powell’s defense attorney, argued that “Kasey was a mess” and “very troubled,” according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Earlier in the trial, she argued that jurors may eventually come to believe that Nutter was not dead.
“You will not even believe, beyond a reasonable doubt, whether Kasey Nutter is alive, or dead, part of human trafficking,” Keene said. “You just don’t know.”
But prosecutor and Intimate Partner Violence Team chief Allenna Bangs said that “Kasey was living a life of terror at the hands of the defendant and saw no way out.”
“His abuse and her untimely death should not have been the end of her story,” Bangs added. “She deserved better, and the jury saw fit to rectify that.”
In October 2016, Powell was indicted on a capital murder charge, The Dallas Morning News reported.
The trial against him began May 14 and jurors took just over an hour to return a guilty verdict, according to the report.
He’s now in custody at the Tarrant County Jail.
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