UPDATE: Steven Powell was sentenced to 30 months with 36 months community custody today, well under the ten year sentence the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office had requested, but above the standard 0-12 month sentence range for the crime he was convicted of.
Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist offered his take on the sentence via press release:
"We're pleased that the judge agreed with us that an exceptional sentence was called for in this case," said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. "While we recommended a longer sentence than was imposed, the important thing is that Mr. Powell has been held accountable for his crimes in Pierce County and this chapter is done."
Last month, in the culmination of a highly publicized case, Steven Powell, father of Josh Powell, was convicted in Pierce County court of 14 counts of voyeurism. Today, Powell learns his ultimate fate - with Judge Ronald. E. Culpepper scheduled to hand out a sentence this afternoon.
The Pierce County Prosecutor's Office, led by Mark Lindquist, is seeking an exceptional sentence for Powell - ten years in total. With the standard sentence range for crimes such as Powell's clocking in at 0-12 months, the request of the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office certainly meets the criteria for use of the word exceptional.
Lindquist says seeking an exceptional sentence isn't a decision his office takes lightly, and is done only when circumstances call for it. The Pierce County Prosecutor says the number of counts Powell has been convicted of, and the potential danger he poses to the community, weighed heavily in the decision.
"Mr. Powell is the type of offender and his is the type of crime that deserves [an exceptional sentence]," says Lindquist. "We [request and exceptional sentence] when it's just and it makes sense, and in Mr. Powell's case it does."
"It's not uncommon for us to request an exceptional sentence," offers Lindquist of the move. "More often than not we prevail."
While even Lindquist concedes it's impossible to predict what will happen today, he's confident Judge Culpepper will agree with his office's legal argument for requesting the lengthy stay behind bars for Powell. Of course, that's not to say the judge will grant it. Culpepper has the leeway to impose anywhere from the standard sentence range of 0-12 months, on up to the ten years requested by Pierce County prosecutors.
Should Culpepper choose the standard sentence range for Powell's crimes, it's possible he could be set free tomorrow - as he's been in jail since his arrest in September, 2011, and would receive credit for time served.
"Legally speaking, yes, it's possible," Lindquist says of the scenario where Powell walks out of the Pierce County Courthouse a free man this afternoon. "I think that would be a miscarriage of justice."
But as Lindquist and the Rolling Stones know, you can't always get what you want. Evidence of this was provided earlier in the case, when Culpepper tossed the child pornography charges prosecutors had levied against Powell, saying his actions did not meet the definition of the law he was charged with.
If this were baseball, one might say Pierce County prosecutors are due for a hit.
Lindquist, however, isn't counting his eggs before they're hatched.
But he is offering firm quotes.
"Now that he's been held accountable for the crimes he committed in Pierce County, I hope this ends Mr. Powell's 15 minutes of fame," says Lindquist.
We'll find out later this afternoon.