A defense attorney for the suspected "speed van commando" told a judge Monday that Scott Powell is undergoing treatment for cancer and other illnesses. Lawyer Dan Cron said he is seeking a physical and mental evaluation of his client.
Santa Fe police say Powell, 63, shot one of its speed-enforcement vehicles multiple times April 11, then led them on a chase Friday through downtown Santa Fe. He remains in jail on a $55,000 cash-only bond.
During Powell's arraignment before Santa Fe County Magistrate Sandra Miera, Cron said his client wanted to pay 10 percent of the bond with assurance that he would enroll in a "complete medical and psychological evaluation program."
"We're looking for a facility that can basically do a complete work-up, because if there are issues out there that are undetermined right now," Cron said, "we want to figure those out so that Scott can get some help."
Miera denied the request, saying Powell "is a danger to the community." She imposed the full bond until Cron could provide the court with proof of a specific evaluation plan and facility.
"We think that there are ways which we have proposed to alleviate any of those concerns," Cron said after the arraignment.
According to Cron, Powell suffers from depression, attention deficit disorder, high blood pressure and high cholesterol on top of a form of cancer that he did not divulge. But, he added, "One of the things I've learned from talking with neighbors and family is that Scott's a great guy. People like him, they respect him and they really want for him to have the best."
Powell's friends and family, including a daughter who lives in California, watched quietly in Miera's courtroom as Powell appeared on a TV screen from jail. None of the family members agreed to talk with members of the media.
As he was being read the charges against him, Powell shook his head in surprise when Miera said he was accused of assault on a peace officer. According to police, Powell almost hit an officer, who was on foot, with the blue Audi 6 he was driving Friday.
Powell also is charged with criminal damage to property of more than $1,000 and negligent use of a deadly weapon, in connection to the speed van shooting, and two counts of aggravated fleeing from law enforcement.
Fighting the photos
According to an arrest warrant, police interviewed Powell on April 23 after receiving an anonymous tip identifying him as the man who shot up the speed-enforcement vehicle.
During the interview, the warrant says, Powell denied shooting at the speed SUV, but he admitted he had been cited by it and had attempted to dispute the citation. He said he had received "no due process, which was unconstitutional."
Powell told police he remembered the speed SUV being parked on Bishops Lodge Road on the date of the shooting and said he had passed it several times. According to the warrant, he "stopped and approached the vehicle -- believing it was occupied -- with the intention of asking the driver to move it somewhere else" that day. He complained to police about the "flash that emits from the vehicle when a photo is taken."
Police eventually filed a search warrant for Powell's vehicle and issued the arrest warrant last week, which led to the chase through downtown Santa Fe on Friday. Midway through the chase, Powell contacted Cron.
Sgt. Andrea Dobyns of Santa Fe police said Monday that the revolver found in the Audi Powell was driving Friday --a different Audi than the one that appears in the video of the speed SUV shooting -- has not been positively identified as the gun in the video. She said police do believe Powell used a revolver in the shooting.
Contact Nico Roesler at 986-3089 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @nicoroesler.
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