Nearly a year after filing an intent to seek the death penalty, the Miller County prosecutor is down to the deadline to file documents the court has requested.

Nearly a year after filing an intent to seek the death penalty, the Miller County prosecutor is down to the deadline to file documents the court has requested.

In August of 2018, Miller County Prosecutor Ben Winfrey filed the intent to seek the death penalty in the case against John Joe Powell. In order to proceed, the prosecution has to disclose the  death penalty phase witnesses or evidence, according to an order filed by Circuit Court Judge Ken Hayden by the court on July 1. The ruling stipulated that needed to be done within 30 days in order to avoid waiving the right to seek the death penalty. 

 Powell, 41, is facing a first-degree murder charge in the death of a man from Colorado  he is accused of beating, stabbing and dragging behind a Jeep at a Lake Ozark Campground nearly 2 years ago in September of 2017. 

 Powell was originally charged with 3 counts of armed criminal action and 3 counts of assault after allegedly getting into an argument with Mark Johnson, of Colorado. Johnson died several days after the incident from his injuries. He was taken to University of Missouri Hospital and Clinics for treatment of his injuries that included stab wounds and trauma from being drug behind the vehicle.  An autopsy later determined the cause of death to be blunt force trauma. 

The case has moved from Miller County to Laclede County on a change of venue. Powell’s 

Powell and his wife had been camping at Iguana Campground  for two weeks. The victim, who was also staying at the campground, had met Powell and his wife the same day the incident was reported. The two men allegedly started arguing over their military service. Powell allegedly got angry after the victim told him he worked for the CIA and made threats against  his wife. 

The victim was found unconscious by police after an Ameren security guard came across Powell and Johnson at the campground.  He was tied to the rear of a Jeep. The victim had stab wounds and the fingers on his left hand were nearly severed. 

The campsite where Powell and his wife were staying showed signs of a struggle. Two knives and a hammer were recovered at the scene. 

Powell was originally charged with assault in Sept. 2017. He was later charged with first degree murder after the victim of the brutal assault died after being hospitalized with multiple injuries.