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Grandparents of Slain Powell Boys Urge Lawmakers to Protect Children of Murder Suspects

Chuck and Judy Cox, the grandparents of Charlie and Braden Powell, urged Washington lawmakers to do more to protect the children of murder suspects during a public hearing on a new bill sponsored by Sen. Pam Roach (Auburn).

A year after the tragic deaths of Charlie and Braden Powell at the hands of their father, their grandparents spoke before the Senate Law and Justice Committee, urging lawmakers to approve a new bill called the Charlie-Braden Act (Senate Bill 5162), which would prohibit granting suspects child custody if they are the subject of a murder investigation.

Puyallup residents Chuck and Judy Cox told the Senate they believe this legislation could have saved the lives of Charlie and Braden.

"Without this law, a surviving spouse is essentially able to achieve custody by murder," said Chuck Cox.

The Coxes told Senate leaders that they warned police and social service agents that Josh Powell was dangerous. Even while a Pierce County judge ordered a psycho-sexual evaluation for Powell, he was granted visitation with his two boys, who were living with their grandparents.

A few days after the judge's order, Powell killed his two boys in a fire at his Graham home during a supervised court visit, in which he also perished.

Powell was never named an official suspect in the disappearance of his wife Susan, but was the main person of interest in the Utah investigation.

Susan Cox-Powell has never been found. 

Sen. Pam Roach (Auburn) co-sponsored the bill.

“To me, this really seems like common sense. If the police suspect that you killed someone, you shouldn’t be granted custody,” said Roach, R-Auburn. “It’s beyond unfortunate that this is a law that needs to exist.”

Do you think this bill could prevent future tragedies? Tell us in the comments. 

DRR February 02, 2013 at 04:24 PM
Seemed like josh Powell had too many rights when it came to his boys. They should have never been allowed time with their so called dad. The whole case was sick and twisted not sure why it was allowed to end this way. State of Washington really screwed up this one and 2 innocent boys lost their lives for it.
Jean February 04, 2013 at 07:24 PM
I am in a similar situation in Tacoma. We have our 2 grandchildren put in our
Jean February 04, 2013 at 07:38 PM
for 2 years due to physical abuse. Their father is in prison for that abuse and mother is out there doing her thing. She is a registrared sex offender who fails to report her address to the authorities. We were asked to adopt the boys by the state and cps 1 1/2 years ago. But we keep getting promised of termination and it keeps getting put off. Even when we told cps that the oldest has told us later that his mother used touch his privates they can't or won't do anything. That we have to open a case. She has had numerous arrests as well but they are still giving her all these rights of visitation and we are still waiting. It's a horrible thing to have to fear for these children that they may go back to a mother that is a Registred Sex Offender, will steal anything from shop lifting to fraud, she won't work but the state is stll considering giving these boys back to her and DSHS give monthly money. Our hearts went out to these grandparents a year ago. It was a sensless awful horrible crime that could have been prevented. Something needs to be done CPS is suppose to be of help to these abused children but their job is to reunite the FAMILY no matter what! While children go back to parents that care more for themselves then the children they brought into this world. Children are such a gift from God! I am so very thankful that Powell Boys grandparents are doing something about their loss. May God Bless them!
Jawbone Kent February 06, 2013 at 03:46 PM
Jean, I'm a grand parent myself and we will Pray for you and your Grandkids, their Parents also. Sounds to me they all need it? The Judicial System is in such a sorry state of affairs, most all branches. I do know theirs a few people who work in the children portions, like CPS & another one, the Acronym escapes me at the moment! But that's just 2, theirs obviously more but the problems run very deep and in so many areas. I do understand maintaining family unity, but I've seen time after time, father in Prison and Mom is worthless over one reason or more, mostly over Drugs and don't work. Theirs sucked up up in the HAND HELD OUT routine and their job is how to WORK THE SYSTEMS! And they have that down to a fine art. They even brag to others in their position of how to get this benefit or the other! It's very sad. You see I have a daughter in it now, less the drugs and alcohol. Just some medical issues.. God Bless and Goos Luck.
Jim February 08, 2013 at 06:20 AM
He was not a suspect. This bill would not have saved them. Please read the entire article, these grandparents are being used for political purposes.

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