Powell found guilty of manslaughter; avoids jail time

After five years since the fatal vehicle accident that killed Maryah Sanchez, Paige Powell learned her fate on Tuesday afternoon in front of a packed Logan County courtroom.


Powell and Sanchez, who were roommates for three months, were involved in a vehicle accident in the early morning hours of February 9, 2014 on U.S. Highway 77 and County Road 70.

At the scene, Powell, 26, told a trooper with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol she swerved to avoid a deer in the roadway, lost control on the snow covered grass, struck a tree and caused the vehicle to catch fire.

Sanchez, 23, in the passenger seat, was unable to get out and succumbed to the heavy smoke and flames.

Powell, who pleaded no contest and entered into a blind plea after waiving a jury trial in May, was given a 10 year sentence with the Department of Corrections for manslaughter while driving impaired. All 10 years will be suspended upon good behavior.

The final decision was handed down by District Judge Phillip Corley.

Powell has been able to avoid spending anytime in jail throughout the entire five years since the accident.

“I respect Judge Corley and I respect his decision, I just disagree with it,” Hermanson said.

Hermanson told Guthrie News Page after the ruling, that evidence, facts and science was behind them and is why Powell’s attorney Scott Adams entered a no contest plead to avoid a jury trial.

“He (Adams) had a chance to get a suspended sentence from Judge Corley. He didn’t have that chance from a jury. The jury would have had to put her in jail for at least four years. It was a better move for him (Adams) to do that.”

Emotional testimony was heard on both sides, including Sanchez’s mother (Diana Savage) and sister (McKayla Sanchez). Powell, along with her husband (Donte’ Foster) and mother (Nancy Powell), also gave testimony.

While each testimony was read from prepared statements, Paige Powell was seen looking down with a tissue in hand as she listened to the statements.

Kay County District Attorney Brian Hermanson recommended a 20 year sentence with 10 years in prison. Adams, a high-power attorney, requested a five-year deffer sentence.

Related article: Guthrie woman charged with manslaughter following 2014 deadly car crash

The trooper detected alcohol on Paige Powell, who admitted to drinking five beers.

Records show Powell’s vehicle was traveling 74 mph five seconds before impact and 55 mph at the time of the collision. The posted speed limit was 40 mph.

Powell’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was tested four hours after the collision with a reading of .03 percent. An expert testified that Powell’s BAC at the time of the wreck was between .09 and .11 percent.

Maryah Sanchez was killed in the vehicle crash on Feb. 9, 2014.

In a pre-sentence investigation by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Sanchez’s mother says they have had little to no contact from Powell.

However, Powell and Adams both said in court that Powell and Savage met in September 2018. Nancy Powell added that the Sanchez family refused to speak with them at the hospital.

The report states, “the defendant (Powell) has reportedly failed to show any remorse or offer condolences to (the mother) or the victim’s family.”

“We can not judge how someone grieves,” Nancy Powell said in her statement.

Sanchez’s mother fears Powell will commit such an act again. She says she has heard rumors about Powell “partying” since the accident along with being cited twice for speeding.

Adams said “there’s zero of that. There’s no proof. It never happened.” Adams told the judge of the partying.

Online records show Powell has paid in full for two speeding tickets. The first ticket for speeding in Alfala County just five months after the deadly accident and again in August 2016. Both citations were issued for speeding 15 mph over the posted limit.

Powell, who was just recently married and is expecting her first child, was asked to give her testimony last month, but deferred to her attorney. In which, Adams provided a copy of the OHP accident report.

Related article: Judge finds probable cause for trial in the death of a Guthrie woman


8 Comments on "Powell found guilty of manslaughter; avoids jail time"

  1. It’s so sad money can pay for bad behavior!!!

  2. concerned citizen | July 17, 2019 at 11:35 am | Reply

    That happens when you live in small towns politics always wins out. So so sad. She has not learned a darn thing! Two more speeding tickets of 15+ over posted speed limit.

  3. Are you fn kidding me? This POS kills someone else because she’s dog-ass drunk and she won’t serve one day in jail. Shame on this judge !! This is ABSOLUTELY shameful and how can anyone say the “respect” this judge’s decision??? The fix (money) was in on this one since day one….no doubt.

  4. Went to high school with this girl. I only had one interaction with her. She was sitting on the stage with 2 girls. I walked through the cafeteria and she said “nice shirt” followed by the girls giggling. My mom did her best to provide clothing for me but it wasn’t always in style and my shirt may have been to small for me. All this being said…if she’s anything like she was in high school…she’s not a good person. I think manslaughter is punished too harshly but this is plain negligence and I hope she gets what she deserves. P.S. The rest of her family is really nice.

  5. Something Stinks | July 22, 2019 at 9:29 pm | Reply

    Why didn’t the Logan County DA try this case herself, OR why didn’t one of her ADAs try it?!? Why did she have to bring in a DA from another district? I’d like to know why she recused herself. I’m also curious why an OHP let her sober up for four hours before testing – they know better.

  6. The district attorney for Logan County at the time,Tom Lee, disqualified his office from the case.

  7. Wow! Dirty pos!

  8. Money is power in America & she white

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