AKRON, OH – A 23-year-old woman from Akron, Ohio, has been found guilty of murdering her mother after her parents discovered she had been expelled from college due to poor academic performance. Sydney Powell was convicted last week on charges of murder, felonious assault, and tampering with evidence in the death of her 50-year-old mother, Brenda Powell, as reported by the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office.
Following her conviction in the Summit County Common Pleas Court, Powell, who had been out on bail since her arraignment, was taken into custody immediately. Despite the verdict, her attorney, Donald Malarcik, expressed disappointment and plans to file an appeal. He argued that the evidence strongly supported a plea of insanity.
The tragic incident unfolded on March 3, 2020, when Sydney’s father, Steven Powell, was unable to access the portal to pay her tuition, leading to a fatal altercation with her mother. Sydney confessed to her father that she had been expelled from Mount Union University for failing three out of four classes in December 2019. She had kept this a secret for months, even continuing to live on campus and attend sorority meetings until she was evicted from her dormitory on February 24, 2020.
Following her eviction, Sydney spent a week in hotels, avoiding telling her parents the truth. When her father informed her mother about Sydney’s deceit, Brenda Powell, a child life specialist at Akron Children’s Hospital, came home to discuss the matter with her daughter. During a phone call with school officials, they heard repeated thuds and screaming before the call disconnected.
Prosecutors stated that Sydney beat her mother repeatedly with a cast-iron skillet before stabbing her nearly 30 times with a steak knife. Following the attack, Sydney staged a break-in by shattering a window. When police arrived, she claimed an intruder had entered the house and attacked her mother.
Sydney’s defense team acknowledged she killed her mother but argued that she was suffering from schizophrenia and was unable to comprehend the consequences of her actions. Despite testimonies from her father and grandmother, the jury dismissed the insanity defense. Sydney is set to be sentenced on September 28 and could face life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after 15 years.