23-year-old Ohio woman killed mom with frying pan, knife after she’d discovered her college secret
A 23-year-old Ohio woman killed her mother by beating her with an iron skillet and stabbing her dozens of times — because she’d found the younger woman had been kicked out of college.
Sydney Powell of Akron was found guilty of murder, felonious assault, and tampering with evidence in the brutal death of healthcare worker Brenda Powell, 50, according to the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office.
“In March of 2020, Powell struck Brenda Powell in the head with an iron skillet, then stabbed her nearly 30 times in the neck,” the office said in a release.
Powell, a former Mount Union University student, sobbed in the Summit County Common Pleas courtroom after a jury found her guilty Wednesday, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.
Police found Brenda inside her Scudder Drive home with severe injuries on March 3, 2020.
She and her then-19-year-old daughter were taken to a hospital, where Brenda died.
Prosecutors said Powell attacked her mother — a child life specialist at Akron Children’s Hospital — while she was on the phone with officials from her school.
During the trial, the defense argued Sydney suffered from schizophrenia and therefore could not be held accountable for the murder.
James Reardon, one of three defense experts who made the diagnosis, said Sydney suffered a psychotic break when she killed her mom, whom she had considered her best friend.
But Sylvia O’Bradovich, a psychologist hired by prosecutors, disagreed with the diagnosis and said Sydney didn’t meet the legal definition of insanity at the time of the crime.
O’Bradovich acknowledged that Sydney suffers from mental health issues, including borderline personality traits, malingering, and an anxiety disorder, the Beacon Journal reported.
Steven Powell, Sydney’s father and Brenda’s husband, and maternal grandmother Betsy Brown had urged prosecutors to reach a resolution without a trial, according to the outlet.
But the prosecution said it wanted a jury to decide.
“Sydney stopped attacking with the pan, presumably went to the kitchen with a knife,” Assistant Prosecutor Brian Stano said.
“She had to switch weapons and keep attacking her,” he said, adding that Sydney carried out the deadly attack because she didn’t want her secret to be revealed.
“Just the knife just in the neck multiple times? That is purposeful. That is trying to end someone,” Stano said.
Defense attorney Donald Malarcik declined to comment after the verdict.
Powell’s sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 28.
She could receive a maximum of life behind bars with possible parole after 15 years and additional time for the evidence tampering conviction.
Brenda Powell, who was stabbed nearly 30 times. Akron Children Hospital
Sydney Powell could receive a maximum of life behind bars with possible parole after 15 years.Summit County Sheriff's Office