New Yorker confesses fatally stabbing dad during Zoom chat

WION Web Team New York, United States May 23, 2020, 01.12 PM(IST)

File photo Photograph:( AFP )

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The murder took place in the town of Amityville, known in particular for the horror book series bearing its name and related film, which came out in 1979.

A Long Island man suspected of fatally stabbing his father on a live Zoom call confessed to the caught-on-camera killing after police found him trying to wash blood off his body with Dr Pepper, prosecutors said on Friday.

Thomas Scully-Powers, 32, was arraigned via video and ordered jailed without bail after pleading not guilty to a murder charge in the attack on Long Island, New York, on Thursday that left 72-year-old Dwight Powers nearly decapitated as horrified call participants scrambled to dial 911.

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Such virtual meetings have become ubiquitous during the coronavirus pandemic, allowing people to see and talk to each other in groups without the risk of physical proximity. Because many meetings are recorded as they unfold, there’s a chance prosecutors will be able to obtain video of the attack taking place.

After his arrest, Scully-Powers told police he stabbed his father approximately 15 times in the back, neck and torso, switching knives because the blades were bending, according to prosecutors.

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The county medical examiner said Powers sustained multiple stab wounds to his chest and back, with one slash across his neck nearly decapitating him.

The murder took place in the town of Amityville, known in particular for the horror book series bearing its name and related film, which came out in 1979.

"This is a shocking and disturbing case," Suffolk District Attorney Timothy Sini said in a statement. 

"By the defendant's own admissions, he brutally stabbed his own father repeatedly until he was certain he was dead."

When officers arrived at the scene, Scully-Powers jumped from a second-story window, police said, attempting to flee on foot.

He ran to a nearby deli and allegedly began pouring Dr. Pepper soda on himself in a bid to wash off the blood.

Police quickly apprehended him nearby, they said. 

They also found evidence at the apartment, which Scully-Powers shared with his father, of apparent attempts to clean the scene, including a mop and bucket in the bathroom along with a blood-soaked bed sheet found in a garbage bag.