Jerome Power is on trial in Iowa for killing his 68-year-old neighbor, Doris Bevins, back in 2010. But, after Power’s defense attorney, Steve Addington, and the prosecutor made their closing arguments, a strange turn of events unfolded in the Cedar Rapids courtroom, KCRG 2 reports.
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Just as the jurors who are tasked with deciding Power’s fate were leaving the courtroom, the 50-year-old murder defendant poured water over Addington’s head. “It should have been a mistrial,” he said afterwards. “You sold me out!”
The bold act caught the jurors, the judge and bailiffs off guard. Power was quickly restrained, but not before giving his lawyer a small shower.
The jury started deliberations just after noon Monday and were sent home about 4:30 p.m. They will resume deliberations 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in Linn County District Court.
Power, charged with first-degree murder, is accused of strangling to death Doris Bevins, 68, in her home Sept. 19, 2010. Police found Power hiding inside behind the entry door as they responded to the 911 call from Bevin’s friend who was talking on the phone to her when she was assaulted that night.
Power dumped the water on Addington in front of the jurors who had just stood up to leave and start deliberations. Most of them looked surprised and the ones stepping down from the jury box abruptly stopped to see what was happening.
Power seemed agitated and defiant throughout Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden’s closing argument, mumbling under his breath and at one time blurting out a comment, but Vander Sanden didn’t miss a beat and just continued his argument.
Vander Sanden said the act of killing Bevins was premeditated, deliberate and willful. Power “squeezed the life from her.” He used pajama pants found at her apartment to strangle her and was likely there to commit a burglary or theft but he was interrupted when police showed up. Police did find Bevins’ cellphone and charger in his pocket.
Vander Sanden said why wouldn’t Power immediately answer the door if had just found Bevins unconscious, as he testified. Police testified they were pounding on Bevins’ door and shouting for her to answer them for about four minutes. They also were kicking the door, trying to bust in the deadbolt locked door and finally had to break a window to get inside.
“There’s no way he couldn’t have heard police at the door,” Vander Sanden said. “He was inside in a panic. He was just hoping they would go away.”
Vander Sanden said Power’s first instinct was to play the “blame game” and talk himself out of this predicament. He started talking about another black man that was inside who ran out the back door or window. Then he continued to blame someone else when he was questioned by police.
Power said about 100 times during the interview the killer was a white man who had lived in the same apartment house as he and Bevins, Vander Sanden said.
“He said he would testify against him (other man) in court,” Vander Sanden said. “I think that tells you something about Power. He was ready to accuse an innocent man of murder, under oath.”
Not the best lasting impression to leave with the twelve people who will decide if you will spend the rest of your life in prison.