Extradition of Powell, Criminal No. 97MG2364.
|United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
|4 F.Supp.2d 945
|Criminal No. 97MG2364.
|In the Matter of the EXTRADITION OF Angela Christine POWELL.
|09 April 1998
Frank J. Ragen, III, Law Offices of Frank J. Ragen, San Diego, CA, Martha McNab Hall, DiIorio and Hall, San Diego, CA, for Angela Christine Powell.
ORDER DENYING EXTRADITEE'S MOTION TO EXCLUDE EVIDENCE, MOTION FOR FRANKS HEARING, MOTION TO ALLOW EVIDENCE, MOTION FOR DISCOVERY AND DENYING THE USA'S MOTION TO DISALLOW EVIDENCE AND PREVIOUS MOTIONS
Statement of Facts:1
On August 7, 1997, at approximately 10:10 p.m., Extraditee Angela Powell (hereafter "Powell") and a male companion, Andre Peart (hereafter "Peart") entered the U.S. from Mexico via San Ysidro. They were the sole occupants in a 1992 BMW belonging to Alfons Schreiber of Chula Vista, California. Peart was the driver and Powell was the sole passenger.
When the car reached the primary inspection area, Inspector Mynatt asked Peart for identification. When Peart was unable to produce identification, he was referred to the secondary inspection area. Once in the secondary area, Peart was asked to turn off the engine and give the keys to Mynatt. Instead of complying, Peart hesitated, punched the accelerator and reached for the gear shift lever. Mynatt removed Peart's hand from the gear shift lever and ordered Peart from the vehicle several times. During this incident, Peart reached towards his waistband. Once Peart was out of the car, he was patted down and a .25 caliber pistol was removed from his waistband. Peart became combative, broke away from inspectors, and attempted to flee. He was caught and handcuffed.
Powell was also removed from the car and handcuffed. Once inside the INS office, Powell started to complain of severe abdominal pains and told inspectors she thought she was having a miscarriage. Powell was taken to the hospital by paramedics.
At the hospital, Powell was able to walk normally from the gurney to the examination room. According to nurses at the hospital emergency room, Powell showed no signs of having a miscarriage when she arrived. Powell behaved in a nervous manner and several times asked if she could leave the hospital. Powell also asked the nurse at least five times whether she was under arrest and if the police were outside.
As the nurse helped Powell undress for the exam, she noticed Powell was wearing quite a bit of jewelry, including several neck chains, rings and very expensive looking pearl earrings. The dress Powell was wearing was a gold gown that, along with the jewelry, contrasted with the filthy underwear Powell was wearing.
After drawing blood from Powell and stepping out of the room, the nurse overheard Powell talking on the phone. According to the nurse, she heard Powell tell the other party to come and get her right away. Powell also told the other party that she had done something for which she could get life. When the nurse re-entered the room, Powell was sitting on the bed counting cash. Powell subsequently removed her own IV drip, dressed and quickly left the hospital.
On August 8, 1997, one day after the above scenario took place, INS contacted the stepson of Alfons Schreiber, the owner of the vehicle in which Peart and Powell were stopped the day before. After being advised of the situation, the stepson went to Schreiber's residence in Rosarito, Mexico and found the bodies of Schreiber and his wife, Blanca Magdalena de la Rosa. Schreiber was found dead on the floor with a belt around his neck, a plastic bag over his head, and his face crushed. A bloody dumbbell was found nearby. Schreiber's wife was found dead in another room, laying on the bed with a pillow over her face and several gunshot wounds to her head.
On August 9, 1997, investigators from Mexico accompanied U.S. investigators to an interview with Peart regarding the murders. Peart refused to speak with them. Also on this date, investigators spoke with Thomas Powell, a man who was identified as Powell's exhusband. Thomas Powell told investigators that he had spoken to Powell earlier that day when she came to visit their children. He described Powell as wearing new sandals and a new dress, hair dyed black and cut very short. He also said Powell had a big roll of cash in her possession.
Thomas Powell also told investigators that Powell told him she had killed a guy in Mexico with her bare hands because he farted in her face. Powell indicated to Thomas Powell that the ATF was after her and had already been to the place in Escondido where she had previously stayed. Powell told him she had to get out of town. He told investigators that Powell had arranged to return the next day, August 10, 1997, to take their children shopping. However, on the morning of August 10, 1997, he called investigators and told them she had changed her mind and would not be coming.
Also on August 9, 1997, investigators spoke with Powell's mother, who told investigators that she felt Powell was in hiding because she had gotten involved with some bad company and was in "real trouble." Later in the day, Powell's mother contacted investigators and told them she had learned Powell was in fact hiding, and wanted to leave town, because the police wanted her to testify against Peart.
The next day, agents followed Powell's mother to a meeting with Powell at the North County Fair Mall in Escondido, California. When Powell arrived, agents took her into custody and transported her to the Escondido Police Station. At approximately 11:15 p.m., Powell was read her Miranda rights by Agent Johnson. Powell invoked her Miranda rights and stated she did not want to answer any questions. The following is an excerpt from the investigation report that details the agents' next step in the process:
"Johnson explained to POWELL that later in the booking process she would be given Torres' telephone number, and that she could contact Torres after consulting with her attorney if she so desired.
Johnson told POWELL that investigators knew all about the murders in Rosarito, about POWELL and Peart taking the BMW and being detained by INS at the border. Johnson also told POW- ELL that investigators knew she had gone to Scripps Hospital and had been staying in various residences in San Diego County. Johnson told POWELL that given the fact she had witnessed a murder, friends or relatives of Peart might also be looking for her. Johnson told POWELL that an interview, with her lawyer present, could be set up very easily if she decided to talk to investigators. Johnson then told POWELL that if she changed her mind and decided to talk to investigators, she would have to initiate contact — that since she had requested a lawyer, investigators would not be asking her to answer anything but personal information for booking purposes.
Torres2 then explained that investigators were planning to take the jewelry that POWELL had in her possession when she was arrested and show it to the victims's family. Torres explained that if the victim's identified any of the pieces of jewelry, POWELL would be implicated in the murders. Torres asked if POWELL still wanted to talk to an attorney before answering questions, and POWELL said she would answer questions.
She said she was concerned for the welfare of her children and asked if she cooperated, would the government protect them? This information was relayed to AUSA Wheat, who said every effort would be made to protect POWELL'S children. POWELL said she wasn't sure which questions she would answer, but that agents could go ahead and ask."
After Johnson and Torres explained the evidence to Powell, she decided she would allow the agents to interview her. In essence, she told them the following: Powell and Peart went to the Schreiber's home in Rosarito, Mexico and pretended they were having car trouble. They convinced the Schreibers to drive them around Rosarito until Peart ultimately pulled a gun and forced the Schreibers to return to their residence.
Once at the residence, Peart tortured Mr. Schreiber while Powell held Mrs. Schreiber at gunpoint in another room. At one point, Peart asked Powell to hand him a dumbbell, which she did. Powell left the room, but returned later and found Peart on top of Mr. Schreiber, choking him with a belt, while Mr. Schreiber's head was covered by a plastic bag. At Peart's request, Powell sat on Mr. Schreiber's legs to hold them still. Powell told agents that Mr. Schreiber's head had been caved in.
Once Mr. Schreiber was killed, Peart went into the next room and shot Mrs. Schreiber in the head, killing her. Powell and Peart then took money, jewelry, coins, credit cards and banking information from the residence. Powell and Peart left Rosarito in the Schreiber's BMW and were subsequently detained at the border crossing.
Powell told agents that, after leaving the hospital, she made contact with several friends, two of whom were "Gary" and "Donnie". She said she gave "Donnie" a bag of jewelry and some credit cards because she needed money to bail Peart out of jail. She gave "Gary" a very expensive gold and diamond tennis bracelet she had taken from the Schreibers. "Gary" and "Donnie" were both subsequently identified and contacted by investigators. Both confirmed Powell's story as it related to them. Property belonging to the Schreibers was recovered from both men.
"Donnie" also told investigators that Powell had told him Peart had been arrested earlier at the border for carrying a firearm and that they had murdered an elderly couple in Mexico, and stole property from them, including the couple's BMW.
The recovered property was later identified by the victims' children as belonging to the victims. Ballistics tests matched the casings from the scene in Rosarito to the gun carried by Peart. The gun was registered to Mr. Schreiber. Powell was subsequently arrested and held for extradition.
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