Trial begins for man accused of killing girlfriend, then chopping up body for disposal

Fort Worth police release 2018 crime stats

In 2018, the number of Crimes Against Persons dipped 5.3 percent compared to 2017, according to the Fort Worth Police Department.
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In 2018, the number of Crimes Against Persons dipped 5.3 percent compared to 2017, according to the Fort Worth Police Department.

A White Settlement man is on trial this week, accused of killing his 28-year-old girlfriend, then sawing her body into little pieces and disposing of it.

The remains of Kasey Rae Nutter have never been found but her boyfriend, 50-year-old Kevin Wayne Powell, is charged with capital murder in connection with her suspected death. Prosecutors allege he killed Nutter in December 2015 in retaliation for an aggravated assault charge filed against him a month earlier.

If convicted, he will be automatically sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Allenna Bangs told jurors in opening statements Tuesday in Tarrant County’s 213th District Court that Nutter had met Powell while dancing at a strip club that he frequented.

She said Nutter, an alcoholic and meth addict, had later planned to work with Powell at his home remodeling business but their relationship turned romantic. She soon moved in to his White Settlement home, where his son and a grandson also resided.

But the relationship later turned abusive, with Powell isolating Nutter and feeding her drugs.

Although Nutter was often high on meth when she began reporting Powell’s abuse to police and hospital staff, Bangs said, “she is very clear that she is very scared of this man.”

Kevin Wayne Powell Courtesy Tarrant County Sheriff's Office

On Nov. 4, 2015, Bangs told jurors, Powell strangled Nutter with a wire and tried to suffocate her with a plastic bag and drown her in a shower, prompting him to be charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

“This man was angry that charges were put against him for almost killing her on Nov. 4,” said Bangs, who is prosecuting the case along with Page Simpson.

When Nutter didn’t get the pending case dropped, “in retaliation for that, he killed her and disposed of her,” Bangs told jurors.

Bangs said jurors would hear from a relative of Powell’s about the abuse that Nutter had suffered at the hands of Powell and how Powell had threatened and discussed with Nutter how to get the pending aggravated assault charge against him dropped.

“That one day he walked into [Powell’s] room and saw blood covering every single wall and that he never saw Kasey again,” Bangs told jurors.

Bangs said Powell was high on drugs when he later admitted to the relative that he had “took care of her.”

“He took care of her by killing her and then getting his saws and chopping her body into very little pieces,” Bangs told jurors.

Bangs said Nutter’s last communication with anybody was on Dec. 12, 2015, and that she was reported missing by her grandmother to Fort Worth police in April 2016.

She said failed attempts to locate any record or trace of Nutter since then by investigators all point to the fact that she is dead.

Bangs told jurors they’d hear during the trial how Powell later pawned his saws, but that they were located and tested by authorities.

She said testimony would also reveal how a search of Powell’s residence in May 2016 uncovered evidence including chemicals and barrels that “all point to the fact that what this defendant told [the relative] was absolutely true.”

The state intends to call more than 25 witnesses in the case.

Joetta Keene, Powell’s defense attorney, told jurors that 600,000 people are reported missing each year and that not all are deceased.

Many, she said, are living under bridges and homeless. Many, she said, suffer from alcohol and drug addiction and severe mental illness like Nutter.

“Kasey was a mess,” Keene told jurors. “She was very troubled.”

Keene told jurors to pay attention to the timeline and how Nutter frequently told stories to authorities and others that didn’t make sense and frequently changed.

“She is a person that does not distinguish from reality sometimes,” said Keene, who is representing Powell along with attorney Brian Poe.

Keene said Nutter later told an investigator, a relative and even made a post on Facebook indicating it was not Powell who had hurt her that November, but a pimp who is now in federal custody on human trafficking charges.

She said by the end of the trial, she anticipates that jurors may not even believe that Nutter is dead.

“You will not even believe, beyond a reasonable doubt, whether Kasey Nutter is alive, or dead, part of human trafficking,” Keene said. “You just don’t know.”

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