AKRON, OH – In Akron, Ohio, a 23-year-old woman has been convicted for the brutal murder of her mother. Prosecutors say that the crime was triggered by her mother discovering a secret about her academic status at college. Sydney Powell was found guilty of murder, felonious assault, and tampering with evidence in the death of her mother, Brenda Powell, a 50-year-old healthcare worker.
The gruesome incident occurred in March 2020, when Sydney, a former student at Mount Union University, attacked her mother with an iron skillet and stabbed her nearly 30 times in the neck. The assault took place while Brenda was on a call with officials from Sydney’s school, discussing her daughter’s expulsion from the university.
The Summit County Prosecutor’s Office reported that Brenda was found severely injured in her Scudder Drive home on March 3, 2020. Both mother and daughter were rushed to the hospital, where Brenda succumbed to her injuries. Sydney, who was visibly distraught in the Summit County Common Pleas courtroom, broke down in tears when the jury delivered the guilty verdict.
During the trial, Sydney’s defense team argued that she suffered from schizophrenia and had experienced a psychotic break at the time of the murder. However, a psychologist hired by the prosecution disputed this diagnosis, stating that Sydney did not meet the legal definition of insanity at the time of the crime. The psychologist did acknowledge that Sydney has mental health issues, including borderline personality traits and an anxiety disorder.
Sydney’s father, Steven Powell, and maternal grandmother, Betsy Brown, had pleaded with prosecutors to avoid a trial. However, the prosecution insisted on a jury decision. Assistant Prosecutor Brian Stano emphasized the calculated nature of the attack, noting that Sydney had switched weapons during the assault.
Sydney’s sentencing is scheduled for September 28. She faces a potential life sentence with the possibility of parole after 15 years, plus additional time for the evidence tampering conviction.