Kim Powell to be sentenced for murder February 3; niece wants investigation into BRPD’s DNA analyst certification, LSP Crime Lab expert’s alleged inconsistencies between ballistic report, testimony.

Kim Powell, who is scheduled to be sentenced for second-degree murder in front of 19th JDC Judge Fred Crifasi on Friday, February 3, 2023.

At the age of fifteen (15), Kim Powell was convicted of aggravated rape and sentenced to life in prison.  His conviction was on April 28, 1983.  Almost thirty-three (33) years later, on October 15, 2015, Powell was released from prison.  Powell would appear to owe an “assist” (to use a basketball analogy as “March Madness” rapidly approaches) to fellow Louisiana prisoner Henry Montgomery, who was responsible for this critical U. S. Supreme Court ruling, which itself expanded upon a ruling in Miller v. Alabama entailing life sentences for juvenile offenders.  From the previous link:

…..this Court decided that mandatory life without parole for juvenile homicide offenders violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on “ ‘cruel and unusual punishments.’ ” Miller v. Alabama, 567 U. S. ___, ___. Montgomery sought state collateral relief, arguing that Miller rendered his mandatory life-without-parole sentence illegal. The trial court denied his motion, and his application for a supervisory writ was denied by the Louisiana Supreme Court, which had previously held that Miller does not have retroactive effect in cases on state collateral review.

A State may remedy a Miller violation by extending parole eligibility to juvenile offenders. This would neither impose an onerous burden on the States nor disturb the finality of state convictions. And it would afford someone like Montgomery, who submits that he has evolved from a troubled, misguided youth to a model member of the prison community, the opportunity to demonstrate the truth of Miller’s central intuition—that children who commit even heinous crimes are capable of change. Pp. 14–21.

2013–1163 (La. 6/20/14), 141 So. 3d 264, reversed and remanded.

So, as mentioned above, Powell was released from prison on October 15, 2015, and his niece, Kimberly Burbank, indicates that he was a very productive citizen with everything going well in his life.  Nevertheless, upon his release from prison, Powell was required to register as a sex offender and Powell complied with that requirement.

The life Powell was living post-prison-release all changed, however, when, on Saturday, June 13, 2020, the Baton Rouge Fire Department responded to a brush fire just off Spanish Town Road in Baton Rouge.  What they encountered was a 25-year-old young lady, Courtney Lee, who had been shot in the head twice and set on fire.  Four days later, on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, the Baton Rouge Police Department arrested Powell and charged him with second-degree murder in connection with Lee’s death.

Powell faced trial before 19th JDC Judge Fred Crifasi in August of 2022 with the trial lasting three (3) days.  In a little over three (3) hours, much to the shock of Powell’s relatives (most notably his niece Kimberly Burbank and her father, Ron Wright), who were expecting a quick acquittal (they allege Powell’s defense attorney told them before trial the State had “no case”), were shocked to hear that Powell was found guilty.

On Friday, January 20, 2023, Burbank and Wright sat down with Sound Off Louisiana founder Robert Burns to express their concerns entailing Powell’s prosecution and problems they noted during trial regarding the “credibility” concerns they have regarding the State’s “expert” witnesses.  Here’s what all Burbank and Wright had to say on those matters:

January 20, 2023 video of Kimberly Burbank and her father, Ron Wright, expressing their concerns about the prosecution of Kim Powell, who was convicted of second-degree murder and is scheduled to be sentenced for that murder on Friday, February 3, 2023.  CLICK HERE for the complaint filed with the Baton Rouge Police Department Internal Affairs Department and CLICK HERE for the complaint filed with LSP’s Internal Affairs Department.

We want to wrap this feature up by focusing on a comment made on our last feature.  Here is the comment wherein the writer criticizes both Sound Off Louisiana and Tom Aswell, publisher of Louisiana Voice:


Yawn. I’ve never seen people regurgitate the same things over and over and over. Meanwhile, people are getting killed in New Orleans and Baton Rouge by the dozen, yet Tom Aswell and Sound Off are too scared to do real journalism and grill the failures of leadership in those cities.

We would suggest to Mr. Hawk that, upon Sound Off Louisiana’s founding, we stated in no uncertain terms that the blog is intended to provide a means for, “Louisiana citizens, from the ‘small guy’ to the VIP, to Sound Off on Louisiana governmental issues of concern to them.”

That is what we have done, and it is what we will continue to do!

In the case of the feature for which Mr. Hawk complains of “regurgitation,” Dinelle Hardin, with literally only a few hours notice of the matter being on an agenda, booked a flight from Orlando to New Orleans in order to attend an LSPC meeting (in Baton Rouge, thus necessitating the additional expense of obtaining a rental car) and Sound Off on the matter of LSP Troopers’ York and Clary being able to avail themselves of a massive amount of annual leave which would otherwise be forfeited if LSP Col. Davis did as Dinelle and Mona Hardin desire and, “fired them both.”  That’s a classic prospective individual with “concerns about a Louisiana government operation” for whom we like to provide the means to Sound Off.

That’s even more the case given the incredible resolve of both Dinelle Hardin and her mother, Mona, to traverse repeatedly from Florida to Louisiana for various public meetings on the death of Ronald Greene.  So, Mr. Hawk can “yawn” all he wants to!  We’re going to cover such dedication and desire to Sound Off irrespective of whether he or anyone else finds it “regurgitating” and material to “yawn” at or not!

Likewise, Burbank and Wright sought an opportunity to Sound Off regarding what they allege are inadequacies in the investigative acts of the Baton Rouge Police Department and Louisiana State Police, and also for them to further express their concerns about the impacts of those alleged inadequacies regarding the conviction four months ago of their relative, whom they firmly believe is innocent of the murder for which he has now been convicted and is scheduled to be sentenced on February 3, 2023.

If Mr. Hawk wishes to reach out to Sound Off Louisiana and Sound Off on his contentions that there are “failures of leadership” in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, we stand ready, willing, and able to set up our video camera and let him Sound Off just as we did for the folk referenced above (and many others throughout this blog’s history).  In fact, we would love for him to do so because, as we’ve stated, that is precisely why we formed the blog!

We’ll see if we get a response to this open challenge to Mr. Hawk, or whether he may be “too scared” to follow through on our challenge!  We’re fully prepared for whatever choice he may make.

Aswell is welcome to address the allegation that he (Aswell) is “too scared” to report on the matter of “failures of leadership” in New Orleans and Baton Rouge on his own blog if he may be so inclined.

If you would like to be added to our Sound Off Louisiana email list to be notified of future posts, simply go to our home page and scroll to the bottom (mobile devices) or to the top of the right-hand column (desktops).  Supply your email address within the subscribe box.  You’ll then receive an automated email from Word Press, and all you have to do is click on the blue “confirm follow” bar contained within that email, and you’ll begin receiving great posts such as the preceding one above.

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