Reginald Powell gets life in slaying of Mamaroneck mom Jennifer Katz

Reginald Powell, 56, was convicted Dec. 18 in

Reginald Powell, 56, was convicted Dec. 18 in the December 2010 stabbing death of Jennifer Katz, 49, of Mamaroneck. (Credit: Westchester County district attorney's office)

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A 56-year-old White Plains man was sentenced to life in prison Thursday for the brutal stabbing death of a Mamaroneck mother of two in her home.

Reginald Powell had been convicted of first-degree murder in Westchester County Court for the Dec. 30, 2010, killing of Jennifer Katz, 49.

Powell stabbed Katz and stuffed her body in a closet.

"This defendant brutally and viciously murdered a mother of two young women," District Attorney Janet DiFiore said after Powell's conviction. "His explanations of his whereabouts at the time of the murder were riddled with lies and inconsistencies."

Powell's Legal Aid Society lawyer did not return calls seeking comment. At trial, Powell's defense team tried to pin the blame on his brother.

Katz, a popular figure in Mamaroneck -- often seen riding her bicycle through the village -- had dated Powell's brother, village sanitation worker Wayne Powell, and had hired his ex-convict brother Reginald to do odd jobs around her home.

Katz was divorced. Her two teenage daughters were not home at the time of the slaying. They were visiting their father, Ronald Katz, in Florida, for a holiday vacation.

After killing her, Powell stole Katz's jewelry and her car and headed for New York City.

He was stopped for making an illegal turn in Harlem behind the wheel of Katz's Toyota Highlander SUV, police said. He tried to flee after being stopped. Police found prescription pain pills and heroin in the car. Powell had four rings that had belonged to Katz, police said.

Questioned by New York City police, Powell told them about a body in Katz's home.

Village of Mamaroneck police then found Katz's near-naked body in the closet of her home, with traces of Powell's semen on her, prosecutors said.

Powell had previously served 24 years in a state prison on a 1984 conviction for second-degree murder in the shooting death of a Mamaroneck cabdriver. He was released from Queensboro State Prison in October 2008, according to state records.

With Ron Bittner

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