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Steven Powell search warrants unsealed

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TACOMA, Wash. — Search warrants in the Steven Powell case will be unsealed for the first time.

Attorneys for Powell were in a Pierce County Superior Court courtroom Friday afternoon seeking to have the search warrants served on Powell's house and vehicles unsealed. Their motion went uncontested and the hearing lasted only a minute.

The motion was to unseal search warrants served on the Puyallup home of Steven Powell and his son, Josh Powell, in August of 2011 and a subsequent search on Sept. 17, 2011.

Steven Powell's defense attorneys say the evidence collected from the Powell house should be thrown out because the search was unconstitutional, calling the effort by police nothing more than a "random fishing expedition style search." The initial search was conducted by West Valley police who traveled to Puyallup, Wash., to search the Powell home as part of their investigation into the disappearance of Josh Powell's wife, Susan Cox Powell.

A hearing on the motion to toss out the evidence is scheduled for April 23. But in order for attorneys to argue the validity of the search warrants, they have to be available in open court.

Steven Powell's trial is scheduled to begin May 7.

Powell, 61, has been in jail since September when he was charged with 14 counts of voyeurism and one count of possession of materials of minors engaged in explicit conduct. He is accused of taking pictures of two neighbor girls, then ages 8 and 10, through an open window into their bathroom without their knowledge in 2006 and 2007.

Susan Powell has been missing from Utah since 2009. Josh Powell murdered his two young sons and then killed himself by setting his rental home in Graham, Wash., on fire earlier this year.

Details of the search warrants will be posted once we receive them.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam