Man who set off explosive device in Williamsburg gets 10 years

Stephen Powers

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — A man who pleaded guilty to setting off a bomb in Williamsburg in 2017 is facing a decade in prison.

WAVY’s Kayla Gaskins reports a federal judge formally sentenced Stephen Powers to 10 years in prison on Thursday. Powers could have seen a maximum of 25 years, following his guilty plea in January.

The explosion happened Oct. 19, 2017 in a parking lot in Williamsburg’s Merchants Square. No one was hurt and there was no damage to any vehicles parked in the lot.

Prosecutors said Powers created the improvised IED using a section of metal pipe that was filled with smokeless powder. The device propelled pieces of metal about 150 feet away after it was detonated.

The time Powers received Thursday was between the 15 years prosecutors sought and the five years his defense requested. In court Thursday, Powers’ mother, father and sister were all there to show him support. 

His wife and her family were also in court Thursday morning. While in jail awaiting trial, Powers tried to hire a hitman to kill his wife.

It was revealed in court that Powers went shopping for material to make the bombs with his 2-year-old son. Powers was also watching his son the day of the explosion — which is the same day prosecutors said Powers planted the bomb.

Prosecutors argued that Powers had to have had his son with him while be was placing the device.

Kayla Gaskins will have full coverage of Powers’ sentencing tonight on WAVY News 10 at 5.

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