FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A Tarrant County jury took a little more than an hour to find Kevin Wayne Powell, 50, guilty of the capital murder of his former live-in girlfriend, Kasey Rae Nutter.
Powell, of White Settlement, received an automatic sentence of life without the possibility of parole for his crime.
The Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office explained, in the fall of 2015, Nutter made multiple claims of abuse against Powell, including a pending charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
According to witnesses, Powell became paranoid that Nutter was talking to police behind his back, and she feared he may seek retribution against her.
Nutter’s last known communication to anyone was December 12, 2015.
After she was reported missing by her grandmother in early 2016, an investigation was launched to locate Nutter. A relative of Powell’s ultimately came forward, painting a gruesome picture of Kasey’s last moments, according to the Tarrant County DA’s office.
The relative testified Powell had told him that he had “taken care of” Kasey by murdering her, cutting her body into small pieces with multiple power saws, then dissolving the remains in chemicals and disposing of them.
Evidence was found that Powell, a contractor, had repainted the bedroom of his home and began covering portions of the room with furniture screwed into the wall. He also pawned his saws shortly after the missing person’s report was filed.
Police obtained a search warrant for Powell’s home and found DNA evidence confirmed to be Nutter’s along floors and baseboards near the portion of the room he tried to hide. The search for Nutter lasted three years while the case was pending, but authorities never found any information she was alive.
“Kasey was living a life of terror at the hands of the Defendant and saw no way out,” said prosecutor and Intimate Partner Violence team Chief Allenna Bangs.
Powell’s defense attempted to downplay his violent history of abuse, and make the case that Nutter’s past as an exotic dancer and drug user with a history of mental illness had brought her into contact with other people who could have killed or exploited her.
“His abuse and her untimely death should not have been the end of her story. She deserved better, and the jury saw fit to rectify that,” said Bangs.
“We’d like to thank all the medical personnel and domestic violence prevention volunteers who treated Kasey and tried to help her,” said prosecutor Page Simpson. “Their contribution to this case was invaluable.”