The case against Reginald Powell is now before a Grand Jury. Charged only with felony burglary, (see the complaint here ) Powell is a suspect in the stabbing death of 49 year old Jennifer Katz, who was found in a closet in her Mamaroneck home late December 30.
The felony complaint charges Powell with entering Katz’s shingled blue house at 615 Baldwin Place sometime "between 9:00 am December 28 and 9:30 pm" December 30. At 9:20 pm December 30, Powell was arrested for making an illegal turn in New York City; he was with Katz’s car and four pieces of her jewelry, three gold rings and a silver ring. Katz’s body was discovered in Mamaroneck by police at 11:00 pm that night.
Two bags of heroin were also in the car with Powell. The Journal News reported Powell passed a drug test by his parole supervisors only two days before he was arrested.
The Grand Jury now has 45 days to indict Powell on burglary charges and if more information is obtained against him in the murder investigation, says Westchester District Attorney Spokesman Lucian Chalfin, "those charges could be elevated."
UNCONFIRMED sources say there is a second suspect being looked at closely.
Katz was home alone at the time of the slaying, while her children were with their father, from whom she was divorced, and who lives in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Katz dated Reginald Powell’s brother, Warren Powell, a Village Sanitation worker, for about two years, according to reports. It is believed Reginald Powell did some work as a handyman at Katz’s house. Another brother, Wayne, is Bishop at Mamaroneck’s Strait Gate Church.
In a statement after the court appearance Thursday, Wayne Powell said, "At this time, due to the sensitive nature of this situation and the deepest respect for the Katz family, Bishop Powell, the Powell family and the congregation of Strait Gate the Church at Westchester will make no comment regarding this unfortunate occurrence."
A memorial gathering for Jennifer Katz is planned for Friday from 4pm- 8pm at the Coxe and Graziano Funeral Home in Mamaroneck. There will be Memorial Mass on Saturday at 11 am at Sts. John and Paul Church in Larchmont, where Katz and her daughters were parishioners.
"Jennifer touched us in many ways. Her sunny and upbeat personality was well known in Larchmont," said Warren Goodman, a friend, adding that Katz, who worked at Larchmont Vision Care at 110 Chatsworth Avenue in Larchmont, just recently sold his wife a pair of sunglasses.
"I would bump into her at the cellphone store in Mamaroneck, at the gym, at the supermarket, and crossing Palmer Ave. In some ways, and in a manner of speaking, we live a type of ‘Six Degrees of Jennifer Katz’ — my shorthand way of saying how connected we are here — to all the above members of the community," he said.
Carolynn Dilworth, one of the owners of Auray Gourmet in Larchmont, where Katz was a regular customer, said Katz "was a wonderful, kind, funny and happy woman who loved her children dearly."
"She had an infectious smile and always a kind word," Dilworth said. "I will miss her smiling eyes and her warm spirit."
"I pray for her children who are wonderful just like their mother," she said.
A scholarship fund has been set up for Katz’s two daughters. Contributions can be made to the Friends of Jennifer Katz Scholarship, 180 E. Prospect Avenue, Mamaroneck, NY 10543.
The slaying is the first homicide in Mamaroneck since 36-year-old letter carrier Stephen Spina was found dead with multiple stab wounds in his Richbell Road apartment in September 2007. Spina’s murder remains unsolved.