By GRACE WONG
AKRON, Ohio (Court TV) — Sydney Powell appeared in an orange jail jumpsuit this morning and sat with her back to her family to hear the judge sentence her to 15 years to life for the murder of her mother, Brenda Powell.
She was barely audible when she replied, “No,” after the judge asked her if she wanted to make a statement before she pronounced the sentence.
Prosecutor Brian Stano acknowledged the Powell family’s grief and suffering but asked the judge to impose 18 years to life, requesting that the sentences for felonious assault and tampering with evidence be served consecutively, arguing that Powell’s conduct after the homicide called for more than the minimum punishment.
Don Malarcik, Powell’s attorney, reminded the judge that the family has been very supportive of Sydney and pleaded with the court to impose the minimum sentence of 15 years to life. Additionally, Malarcik asked that the judge waive court costs, and recommend that Powell serve her time at a new 100-bed mental health treatment center in Marysville, Ohio.
After the judge left the bench, Malarcik appeared furious and rebuked the prosecutors for asking for consecutive sentences, stating that was not what had been represented to him in chambers.
In an interview with Court TV’s Julie Grant, he expressed his outrage and suggested that prosecutors had trampled over the Powell family’s rights as victims and that they had been insensitive to them since the homicide. He told Grant that prosecutors rejected his invitations to meet with the family and his client’s offer to plead guilty to manslaughter.
Malarcik also addressed why Sydney purposefully sat with her back to her family and avoided looking at them when she entered the courtroom. He explained that court deputies are sensitive to defendants’ attempts to communicate with family members while they are in custody. He said he advised his client not to acknowledge her family or to offer a statement to the judge as the case would be appealed.
Friends and relatives of the Powell family filled the gallery in a show of support for the defendant.
Prosecutors did not respond to requests for an interview or statement.