Teen sentenced for role in 15-year-old’s death

By Melanie Speicher - mspeicher@sidneydailynews.com

SIDNEY — A 16-year-old Shelby County teenager was sentenced Monday afternoon in the stabbing death of Cody Powers, 15, of Sidney.

The teen was sentenced in Shelby County Juvenile Court by Judge Jeffrey Beigel on an indictment of murder with a specification of being a serious youthful offender. The teen was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison on the charge.

The teen, who was 15 at the time of the stabbing, was also sentenced to a juvenile amended complaint of juvenile delinquency based on a charge of murder. He was remanded to the Ohio Department of Youth Services until he is 21 years of age.

If the teen, who is not being identified since court proceedings stayed in juvenile court, successful completes the Department of Youth Services program, he will not face the sentencing from the adult court. If he fails to complete the program, he will then face the 15 year to life sentence will be imposed

Based on the plea agreement by the Shelby County Prosecutor’s Office and the teen’s attorney, the state removed its request to have the teen tried as an adult.

“Until arrangements are made for transport, you will be held in detention,” said Beigel.

The judge waived all fines, court costs and restitution in the case.

Prior to the sentencing, statements were presented to the court by the victim’s family and those of the teen who killed Powers. Neither the teen nor his mother gave a statement to the court.

Seven impact statements were presented to the court by the victims family. Four statements were presented by family and a friend of the juvenile who committed the crime.

Zack Foster, a friend of Powers, said his friend never deserved what happened to him,

“I feel hopeless and lost without him,” said Foster.

Victim Services Director Tiffany Kemp read the other impact statements. Faith Weaver said she would never stop fighting for justice for Cody and that she will never forgive the teen who took Powers’ life.

Cody’s cousin said Powers death had impacted everyone in her family, especially the boy’s parents, sister and brother. “I cannot give you forgiveness, but I will pray for your soul,” she said.”

Powers’ sister Jessica Withrow said her brother was “so young and full of life. My world has forever changed. This has left my family vulnerable.”

Withrow;s statement continued that the teen’s mom gets to talk to her son of the phone while her mother screams that her child is dead and her dad questions what if he had done something different.

“You’re not supposed to see your parents in pain,” she said. “You (teen) came with your mother to take Cody’s life. It makes me sick that you’re locked in a cell and she’s running the streets.”

The final statement Kemp read was written by Powers’ parents, William and Linda Powers.

“Cody always turned a bad day around,” Kemp read for his parents “We will never get to see him get his driver’s license. We will never get to see him go to prom. We will never see him graduate.

“There are no words to express our pain,” they wrote.

His mother shared that she help the lifeless body of her son after he was stabbed.

“Losing a child so fast to murder, took away part of our hearts,” the statement continued. They said they can’t seep without nightmares of their son being stabbed to death

“Your mother should be accountable for her actions,” they wrote. “Any parent should have talked your child out of this action.”

Three relatives and a friend of the teen spoke on his behalf. Because the newspaper isn’t identifying the teen, the names of his relatives won’t be used either.

The teen’s aunt said she feels absolutely horrible for both families.

“It was senseless,” the aunt said. “Children do things that they shouldn’t do. I have text messages of (teen) getting jumped everyday.”

She accused Powers and Foster of jumping him everyday and that her nephew was afraid of them.The aunt claimed her nephew suffers from PTSD, watching his grandmother die of an overdose.

“He loved that girl,” the aunt said. “We’re going through a lot too.”

The teen’s grandmother said she’s sorry for the Powers family.

“I loved my mom and my son, she said. “I know exactly what you’re going through. This boy here has been through a lot. It’s not fair how he’s been treated.

“He’s not a bad boy,” she said. “You’re supposed to forgive and forget. God will protect him. You don’t know all the goodness in him. I wish you people would let him go.”

The teen’s great-aunt said he lost a brother to a “random act of violence.” She asked the county and city residents to pay attention to what’s going on in children’s lives.

“Kids are being lost in the cracks,” she said. “We need to reach out the children whose parents are struggling addiction. I want something to happen in Shelby County and Sidney to help them. We need to show them that violence is not the answer to violence.”

A friend of the teen said she sees both sides of the situation since she was friends with both boys.

“He (teen) would never go up there to hurt him (Powers),” the girl said. “It tears me up inside that this happened. He don’t deserve to sit inside a jail for the rest of his life.”

According to the Sidney Police Department, the teen was accused of the stabbing death of Cody Powers, 15, of Sidney, on Thursday, April 30, 2020. The suspect was upset over an alleged text that was sent to his girlfriend, which he termed “disrespectful.” The teen went to the Dingman Street residence to challenge the victim and an acquaintance of the victim to a fight.

Powers sustained a serious knife wound to his stomach area. He was transported to Wilson Health and then transferred to Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton, where he passed away.

By Melanie Speicher


Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.