A convicted murderer out on parole was reportedly arrested in New York City with Jennifer Katz’s car and her jewelry two hours before police found her body late Thursday.
Mamaroneck Village police say they have charged Reggie Powell, 54, of White Plains, a relative of Jennifer Katz’s former boyfriend, with burglary in the 2nd degree. Police will neither confirm nor deny the suspect worked as a handyman at Katz’s house.
The Journal News is reporting New York City police charged Powell with felony criminal possession of stolen property and misdemeanor unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. He was stopped for disobeying a no left turn sign on 125th Street and Lenox Avenue in Harlem, and ran from the car. (A source’s error previously reported the location as The Bronx.)
He was reportedly also charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor, after police found two bags of heroin in Katz’s gray 2006 Toyota Highlander.
According to the Westchester DA’s office, Powell was convicted in 1984 of second-degree murder in Westchester, and sentenced to 22 years to life in prison. He was paroled in October 2008. The spokesman did not specify the location of that crime.
Powell is a relative of Warren Powell, a Village sanitation worker, who lived with Katz for a time. There is also unverified information that the suspect has other ties to the Village of Mamaroneck, including a brother that is a pastor at the Straight Gate Church.
The suspect is due in Mamaroneck Village Court on Thursday.
Meanwhile, local school officials reached out to local children, particularly those in the eighth and eleventh grades who may know Katz’s children, to help them cope with the tragedy.
Hommocks Middle School Principal Seth Weitzman sent parents an email saying school counselors, psychologists and social visited eighth grade classrooms this morning, and made special efforts to help close friends of Katz’s daughter.
Weitzman encouraged parents to contact children’s counselors should they be concerned.