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Trial date set in wrongful death lawsuit for Susan Powell’s sons

Charlie and Braden Powell celebrating Halloween. (Photo: Chuck and Judy Cox / KSL)

SALT LAKE CITY — Nearly ten years after their daughter vanished, the parents of Susan Powell will finally get their day in court in the wrongful death lawsuit involving their grandsons, Charlie and Braden.

Court records show the trial is scheduled for Feb. 10, 2020, in Pierce County, Washington, and is expected to take 29 days.

Susan Powell’s parents, Chuck and Judy Cox, filed the lawsuit with other parties in July 2012, saying Washington state officials failed to protect their grandsons and could have prevented their deaths. The boys were murdered Feb. 5, 2012, when their father, Josh Powell, killed himself and burned down his rental home.

At the time of their deaths, Charlie and Braden were under state supervision but were living with Chuck and Judy Cox. They were allowed court-supervised visitation with their father. That supervisor brought the boys to their father’s Graham, Washington home as expected, but in a frantic 911 call, she told dispatchers Josh slammed the door in her face and locked her out just before she heard the boys crying and the fire started.

KSL reported in January that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had issued a split ruling allowing the Cox family’s lawsuit to go forward. The panel ruled individual social workers involved in the case could not be named in the suit, but sent other concerns about the Department of Social and Health Services’ role in the case back to the lower court for trial.

Susan Powell was last seen Dec. 7, 2009, at her home in West Valley City. Her husband, Josh, remains the only person of interest in the case. Their story is the subject of the Cold podcast, hosted by Dave Cawley.