Mother of Teenage Victim Forgives Killer

Watching execution key for survivor

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Lorraine Whoberry Reed's faith finally helped her get past her daughter's murder and has helped her help others.

    Lorraine Whoberry Reed knows watching a man die in the electric chair will be difficult but said it's something she must do for the daughter who survived the brutal attack.

    On Jan. 29, 1999, Paul Powell entered the Reed family's Manassas home where he killed 16-year-old Stacie Reed and then raped, stabbed and choked 14-year-old Kristie Reed, leaving her for dead.

    From prison, Powell wrote profane, taunting letters to the family boasting about the crime. One sent to prosecutors helped them win his death penalty conviction.

    Paul Powell Executed in Jarratt, Virginia

    [DC] Paul Powell Executed in Jarratt, Virginia
    Paul Powell was executed in Jaratt, Virginia for the murder of one sister and the rape of another.

    The victims' mother said deep grief lingered for seven years.

    "I had to reach a point where I could have peace," she said as she prepared to drive to the prison for Thursday's execution. "Seven years is a long time to be depressed, to be angry, to grieve for Stacie and for Kristie. To be so devastated that with every step you take, you take with the hope that you aren't giving him any control, but it's so hard because it just consumes you, and I told Kristie from day one he's not going to run our lives."

    Whoberry Reed found peace on the ninth anniversary of her daughter's death. She had turned to prayer for consolation and decided to forgive Powell.

    "I just felt a serene peace come over me," she explains.

    But that won't keep her from witnessing the execution with relatives. It's something Kristie must do to find closure and she wants to be at her daughter's side when she watches Powell die in the electric chair.

    "I want for Kristie to be able to heal, to not have to wonder, 'Is he going to come after me again? Is he going to get out? Is he going to hurt somebody else?' That's always got to be in the back of her mind. I want her to be free of that, to never, ever have to worry about that again, and for her to start the final healing process that she so long deserved."