- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Arlington County police yesterday charged a man with the killing of his wife Monday in their house in the Penrose community near Arlington National Cemetery.

James William Powell Jr., 44, is being held without bail in the Arlington County Detention Facility. He was jailed after being treated at a hospital for lacerations on his arms and was charged with murder.

Mr. Powell’s wife, Susan Lewis, 41, was found Monday afternoon unconscious on the floor of the couple’s residence in the 400 block of South Wayne Street. Police said Mrs. Lewis died soon after she was taken to the hospital, apparently of strangulation.

Mrs. Lewis was found by the couple’s baby sitter, who returned to the house with the couple’s toddler son. Police, who were called to the home at 1:43 p.m., found Mr. Powell inside the house, bleeding, said Matt Martin, a county police spokesman.

Mr. Martin said investigation is still pending in the case, and police could not comment on a motive.

Authorities yesterday said the boy has been turned over to relatives and the Department of Social Services was providing assistance.

Neighbors said the couple had lived in the house about four years but did not become involved in the community.

“I feel real bad about it,” said one woman, who asked not to be identified. “They did a lot of work on that house. They put a deck on back, and that cost a lot of money. They were enjoying that home.”

“They had a nice car and a truck,” said another neighbor. “I don’t know what kind of work [Mr. Powell] did. He was in and out of the house several times on some days.”

Mrs. Lewis’ death is the first homicide of the year in Arlington. Mr. Martin said Arlington homicides almost always involve relatives, gangs or acquaintances who get into fights.

Three homicides occurred last year, five in 2002 and three in 2000. Police worked 11 homicides in 1995. “We’ve had single-digit homicides every year since then,” Mr. Martin said.

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