The Justice Files: Deja vu for a career criminal

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) –  She warned the parole board to keep Frank Powell in prison.

In 2017, Laura Candland worried that Powell who was serving time for her brother’s murder would commit more crimes if he was released.

“Why did it have to happen and what did Glen do to Frank to cause him to have to feel such a large amount of hatred to the point of taking his life,” she said at Powell’s parole hearing.

RELATED: Utah man sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for defrauding elderly Utah woman of nearly $300k

Their relationship went back to 1987.  That when Glen Candland was run over by a pickup truck driven by Powell.  The two were arguing over who had the best pickup truck.  Powell was arrested and eventually convicted of Candland’s murder.  He was sentenced to 5-to-life at the Utah state prison.

Thirty years later, the 49-year-old Powell made a case for his release.

“As a kid I made a terrible mistake and I can’t take it back,” Powell told the hearing officer.  “There’s nothing I can do expect for honor the fact that I’m changing my life and becoming a different person.”

Powell committed the murder when he was 19 years old and said the time in prison matured him, but Candland also was at the hearing and wasn’t convinced.

“If Frank were ever to be released would he be able to handle the outside world?” asked Candland.  “If not, my family worries that he would do … what he would do and to whom.”

But Powell said he knew how to deal with anger management issues and vowed never to harm anyone again.  He promised to follow the advice a counselor gave him during a therapy session.

“Each day at the beginning of the day, make sure I have a plan for the whole day,” Powell said.

In December 2017, he was paroled and started making plans for the rest of his life.  Unfortunately the plan was to make money by deceiving an 80-year-old woman.

Two years after his release, Powell, along with his mother Gloria Powell and other siblings preyed on the elderly woman and conned her out of about $280,000.  

“They were purchasing vehicles,” said Sundwall.  “His mother was a co-defendant and she went on cruises and just lived the high life.”

In February, the Powell family appeared in court after being indicted.  Prosecutors called Frank Powell the ringleader.  Most family members pleaded guilty and received various sentences.  His mother also admitted guilty but was spared prison time.

In March, Powell pleaded guilty and Thursday appeared before a federal judge for sentencing.  The victim’s grand-daughter also was there and called the ordeal a “nightmare” for her grandmother and the entire family.

Despite his apology to the victim and her family, the judge couldn’t overlook the seriousness of his crime along with his past.  Powell was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.

“He’d only spent 18 months out of prison since he was 21,” said Sundwall.  “So that is what I would call an institutionalized individual.”

But this was more than a 10-year prison sentence.  Once he was indicted, Powell returned to prison for violating his parole for Candland’s murder.The judge said the 10-year sentence will begin once he completes time for Candland’s murder.

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