Reginald Powell, the man found driving Jennifer Katz’s car in New York two days after her murder in her Baldwin Place home in Mamaroneck, has been indicted on murder charges six months after the crime.
The White Plains man served 24 years for killing a cab driver in New Rochelle in 1982. He was on parole at the time of Katz’s slaying. Katz is the mother of two teenaged daughters.
A Westchester County grand jury handed up a nine-count indictment. The 55-year-old Powell is charged with first- and second-degree murder, second-degree burglary, two counts each of third-degree grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, all felonies.
He was also charged with a misdemeanor drug-possession count, according to Tracy Everson from the Westchester District Attorney’s office. He faces life in prison.
Powell was found driving her 2006 Toyota Highlander in Harlem on Dec. 30. Police, stopped the vehicle after he made an illegal left turn at Lenox Avenue and 125th Street, said they found two bags of heroin inside. After running the plates, they traced the car to Katz’s address. It was there they found her body stuffed in a closet.
Powell has been held without bail at the Westchester County jail in Valhalla on charges related to the stolen car and drugs, while authorities spent nearly six months building a murder case against him. He will be arraigned Monday. Lucian Chalfin of the Westchester DA’s office explained that because he was on parole at the time of the murder, the normal time-frame for an indictment did not apply.
The Powell family is well known in the area. Powell’s brother Wayne is pastor of the Straight Gate Church in Mamaroneck.. The suspect had been living at the minister’s White Plains home.
Another brother is Warren Powell, a village sanitation worker who lived with Katz for two years, until 2009.
Katz worked part time at Larchmont Vision Care and the Larchmont store Vintage Kidz.
The girls’ father, Ronald Katz, from whom she was divorced, lives in North Carolina.