Reporter Trish Mehaffey’s live coverage from a Linn County District courtroom starts today with opening statements in the murder trial of Jerome Power, 50, of Cedar Rapids, who is accused in the strangulation death of his neighbor, Doris Bevins, 68, of Cedar Rapids.
Power is charged with first-degree murder. If convicted he faces life in prison without parole.
Police found Bevins in her home unconscious on the floor with flannel pants wrapped around her throat on Sept. 19, 2010. She died the next day. According to a medical examiner’s report, she died of asphyxiation by strangulation.
Power was found hiding inside behind an entry door by police when they had to break a window to gain access into Bevins’ locked apartment. Investigators haven’t released details of what they believed happened inside Bevins’ apartment that night. According to early reports, police said there was an altercation between Bevins and Power.
Power said he didn’t kill Bevins and told police the night of the incident he saw a black man coming around the corner from Bevins’ apartment who could be the real killer.