- Associated Press - Thursday, February 16, 2012

SEATTLE (AP) — The man who killed his two sons in an explosive house fire in Washington state will not be buried in the same cemetery as the children, according to a lawyer involved in the case.

Attorney Steve Downing said he was informed by Josh Powell’s estranged sister, Jennifer Graves, that her mother would put out a statement Thursday announcing the decision.

Mr. Downing represents Charles and Judy Cox, the parents of Powell’s missing wife, Susan Powell. The Coxes had threatened to move the boys’ casket if Josh Powell were interred nearby.

Powell relatives had visited the Woodbine Cemetery and initially selected a plot near where 7-year-old Charlie and 5-year-old Braden Powell are buried.

Powell killed his sons and himself in a gas-fueled blaze Feb. 5 at a home he was renting in Graham, Wash. More than 1,000 mourners attended the boys’ funeral Saturday. They later were buried in a single casket at Woodbine, a municipal cemetery in Puyallup, Wash.

Powell was a suspect in Susan Powell’s 2009 disappearance from their home in West Valley City, Utah. He always claimed that he didn’t know what happened to his wife. He took the boys — then 2 and 4 — on a midnight camping trip in freezing weather in the Utah desert, he said, and when he returned home the next day, authorities were at the house looking for her.

Weeks later, he moved the boys to his father’s home in Puyallup. After father Steve Powell’s arrest on voyeurism and child pornography charges last fall, the boys were removed from the house and turned over to the Coxes.

A social worker brought them to Josh Powell’s rental home for what was supposed to be a court-sanctioned supervised visit. Josh Powell let the boys inside, locked the social worker out, hit them with a hatchet and set fire to gasoline, authorities said.

A judge recently ordered that Josh Powell undergo a psycho-sexual evaluation if he hoped to regain custody, and in a last-minute message to his sister, Powell said he couldn’t live without his boys.

Copyright © 2017 The Washington Times, LLC.

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