Senior Citizen Indicted in Murder-For-Hire Plot on Prosecutor

An elderly man who allegedly plotted to have an assistant district attorney killed has been indicted on a charge of commissioning murder-for-hire.

Pernell Powell, 73, of Roxbury, was jailed on an OUI charge when he allegedly offered $4,000 to a fellow inmate at Worcester County House of Corrections to murder an assistant district attorney who was prosecuting him on a drunk driving charge, according to an FBI affidavit.

It was the fifth time Powell had faced an OUI charge, and prosecutors were seeking a four to six year term against him, the affidavit said.

Powell was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on a charge of commissioning a murder for hire, court records show.

The FBI learned of Powell’s plans to have the prosecutor killed when they received a letter from another inmate at the jail, who said Powell offered him $2,000 up front and another $2,000 after to carry out the killing.

The inmate told the FBI he gave Powell the name of a relative in Florida to send the money to, with the intent of taking the first $2,000 and not carry out the murder, the affidavit, written by agent Michael Dwyer, said.

The inmate later agreed to wear a wire and record a conversation with Powell in early August, according to the affidavit.

During the conversation, Powell reaffirmed he wanted the killing carried out, the affidavit said.

“I want it,” Powell told the inmate. “I mean what do you think I put that money up for? I want his ass either way man.”

When asked again, Powell said. “Yea, I want it done.”

Powell has a lengthy record of minor crime and driving violation, according to a Boston Globe story from earlier this week.

Powell’s attorney, Timothy Watkins, told the Globe Powell would be exonerated.

“We’re confident that once all of the facts have been brought before a jury at trial, justice will be done and he will live out his life as a free man,’’ Watkins said told the Globe.

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