A Tarrant County jury found a White Settlement man guilty Tuesday of killing his 28-year-old girlfriend and sawing her body into pieces before disposing of it.
Kevin Wayne Powell, 50, was given a life sentence without the possibility of parole, according to a news release from the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office.
Kasey Rae Nutter’s remains have never been found, but prosecutors say Powell killed Nutter in December 2015 in retaliation for an aggravated assault charge she filed against him a month earlier.
“His abuse and her untimely death should not have been the end of her story. She deserved better, and the jury saw fit to rectify that,” said prosecutor and Intimate Partner Violence team Chief Allenna Bangs, according to the release.
After her grandmother reported Nutter missing in early 2016, police launched an investigation to find her. A relative of Powell’s ultimately came forward and said Powell had “taken care of” Nutter by murdering her, cutting her body into small pieces with power saws, dissolving her remains in chemicals and disposing of them.
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.
When Nutter didn’t get the pending case dropped, “in retaliation for that, he killed her and disposed of her,” Bangs told jurors.
Police found evidence that Powell, a contractor, repainted his bedroom and began covering portions of the room with furniture screwed into the wall, the release said. He also pawned his saws shortly after the missing person’s report was filed. Police obtained a search warrant for Powell’s home and found Nutter’s DNA along floors and baseboards.
“Kasey was living a life of terror at the hands of the defendant and saw no way out,” Bangs said in the release.
Powell’s defense attorney said Nutter’s past as an exotic dancer and drug user brought her into contact with other people who could have killed or exploited her, according to the news release.
“We’d like to thank all the medical personnel and domestic violence prevention volunteers who treated Kasey and tried to help her,” said prosecutor Page Simpson. “Their contribution to this case was invaluable.”