According to a Law and Crime report on Thursday, September 28, 2023, 23-year-old Sydney Powell has been sentenced to 15 years to life in a state correctional facility for the brutal murder of her mother, 50-year-old Brenda Powell.
The gruesome incident occurred in March 2020 and has been the focus of a recent trial in the Summit County Common Pleas Court.
Judge Kelly McLaughlin delivered the sentence on Thursday, capping a legal process that has garnered significant attention due to the disturbing nature of the crime.
Powell was found guilty on September 20 of two counts of murder, one count of second-degree felonious assault, and one count of third-degree tampering with evidence.
According to the press release from the office of Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh, Powell struck her mother in the head with an iron skillet before repeatedly stabbing her in the neck nearly 30 times.
During the trial, it became clear that Powell’s motive for this heinous crime was rooted in a deeply troubling secret.
Prosecutors argued that she attacked her mother after being suspended from Mount Union University due to poor academic performance.
Powell was desperate to conceal this fact from her mother, leading to a violent confrontation that ultimately claimed Brenda Powell’s life.
The chilling aspect of this tragedy was that it unfolded while Brenda Powell was on the phone with university officials.
Associate Dean of Students Michelle Gaffney and Dean of Students John Frasier were speaking with Brenda when the line abruptly cut off.
Gaffney testified that they heard disturbing sounds during the call, describing them as “thud sounds” and screams. When they called back, a woman claiming to be Brenda Powell answered but was quickly identified as Sydney by the university officials.
The call ended abruptly, prompting Gaffney and Frasier to call 911 and request a welfare check on the Powell household.
Powell’s defense team argued that she was suffering from schizophrenia during the attack and was not in control of her actions.
They presented three psychiatrists who supported this claim.
However, prosecutors countered with a clinical psychologist who testified that Powell’s actions did not align with those typically associated with a psychotic break.
Dr. Silvia O’Bradovich, the prosecution’s clinical psychologist, stated, “The best source of information for an insanity evaluation is what was said and felt at the time of the incident. It just didn’t add up to schizophrenia.”
Throughout the trial, Sydney Powell chose not to speak due to an ongoing appeal of the trial verdict.
However, her emotional reactions during the proceedings were evident, with numerous instances of crying and visible distress.