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Melvin Lane Powers Charged (1964)


Silent | 1964

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  •  Criminal defense attorney Percy Foreman, center, arrives at the Harris County Jail to speak with his client, Melvin Lane Powers. The Harris County Sheriff’s Department took Powers into custody on the evening of July 3, booking him into jail during the early morning hours of July 4.  
  •  Harris County Chief Deputy Sheriff Lloyd Frazier takes the stand during Powers’ bond hearing. Defense attorney William Walsh raised doubt that his client was the man identified in the Florida murder warrant. Frazier, who made the arrest, testified that he knew Powers in the past and confirmed that he was the defendant named.  
  •  Powers 
  •  District Judge Sam Davis 
  •  Walsh questions the witness 
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This unedited footage from Houston’s KPRC-TV captures events following the arrest of Melvin Lane Powers. The Harris County Sheriff’s Department took Powers into custody on July 3, 1964. The next day, authorities booked him into the Harris County Jail and formally charged him with first-degree murder. The first segment in the footage sees Powers’ defense attorney, Percy Foreman, arriving at the jail on July 4 to confer with his client. The second segment shows the bond hearing for Powers on July 6. District Judge Sam Davis ruled Powers be held without bond pending his extradition to Florida. Powers was accused of murdering Jacques Mossler, husband to Powers’ aunt, Candace Mossler. Jacques was stabbed and bludgeoned to death on June 30, 1964, at his home in Key Biscayne, Florida. Candace Mossler was not indicted until July 1965. The accused went to trial in 1966, with the prosecution arguing that Powers and Mossler were lovers hoping to acquire the victim’s multi-million-dollar fortune. According to the New York Times, the trial was so lurid that the judge barred spectators under 21. The pair were acquitted in 1966. Powers went on to become a Houston real estate tycoon.