Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 6:01 AM

  • Share:
             
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

Judge: Josh, Susan Powell families to split insurance money

Josh Powell's family can share in the life insurance proceeds from the two young sons he killed in 2012, a federal judge has ruled.


Reader Comments
Hide / Show comments
I can not believe that his family can profit off of the murder of those children by their father's own hand. Something... MORE
More likely it will go toward the comfort of Daddy Steven Powell, the probable fountain out of which this family has... MORE
This is still a very sad and emotional story. So far, there have only been losses and losers. Hopefully the money (at... MORE

advertising

TACOMA, Wash. —

Josh Powell's family can share in the life insurance proceeds from the two young sons he killed in 2012, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton's ruling last week came in a dispute between the families of Powell and his long-missing wife, Susan Powell, over three insurance policies covering the couple and the boys.

Josh Powell is believed to have killed Susan Powell in Utah in 2009. He then moved to Washington state, where he killed himself and the couple's boys.

Under the ruling, roughly $793,000 will go to Josh Powell's family. Thomas West, a lawyer working with the family, said Monday that Josh Powell's father, Steven Powell, has disclaimed any interest in the proceeds, meaning that the bulk of it will instead go to Powell's mother, with smaller amounts going to Josh Powell's sister and his surviving brother.

Of the money going to the family, $264,000 is from an insurance rider covering the lives of the boys.

Susan Powell's parents, Charles and Judy Cox, had argued that the Powells shouldn't get any of that money under Washington's "slayer statute," which prohibits killers from receiving life insurance proceeds covering their victim. The judge ruled that the law prohibits killers themselves from receiving those proceeds, but not their relatives.

About $2.2 million from the disputed policies is going to a trust or to Susan's father as conservator of her assets. When she is declared legally dead in December -- five years after her disappearance -- those assets, including a separate $500,000 life insurance policy, will flow into the trust, which was set up by the couple before she disappeared.

The Coxes want to retain the trust money, but the Powells believe it should be split between the families. That issue remains pending before a Utah judge.

The Cox family's lawyer, Anne Bremner, said Monday she remains unconvinced that Steven Powell has really waived any claims to the insurance money. Powell was recently released from a Washington prison, where he served time for taking videos of young neighbor girls undressing and using the bathroom. Bremner won a $2 million judgment on behalf of the girls, and if Steve Powell received the money through court proceedings it would be easier to track it and obtain it for them, she said.

The Coxes hope to use the insurance money to support various organizations and foundations, Bremner said.



Want unlimited access to seattletimes.com? Subscribe now!

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►