Jury gives quadruple murderer life in prison

LAS VEGAS - A man has been sentenced to life in prison for the May 1992 quadruple murder that earned his accomplice a death sentence.

Jurors deliberated about three hours Wednesday before deciding Richard Powell, 38, should be sentenced to life without possibility of parole instead of the death penalty, which prosecutors had sought.

After deliberating for four days, jurors on Monday found Powell guilty of four counts of murder in the apartment shooting.

The killers launched their attack the night rioting erupted in Las Vegas after the first Rodney King trial verdicts in Los Angeles were announced. They knew police attention would be focused elsewhere, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said 24-year-old Samantha Scotti, who helped police nab Powell on drug charges in December 1990, was the intended victim. Scotti, along with three others, was shot to death.

Prosecutors said Powell waited about 16 months to exact his revenge after Scotti cooperated with police in his drug case.

Powell spent much of the past eight years serving a federal drug sentence that arose from the police drug sting in which Scotti participated.

Gloria Schumann, the mother of one of the murder victims, said she was disappointed Powell did not draw the same sentence as Vernell Evans, who in 1994 was sentenced to death for his role in the crime.


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