Sheriff: Powell killed two in town of Binghamton

By Suzanne Proulx
By Dave Greber
By Kelly McCarthy

March 26, 2013 Updated Mar 27, 2013 at 5:55 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) Aaron Powell was arraigned on two counts of murder in the second degree, according to Broome County Sheriff David Harder.

Harder announced the charges during a press conference late Tuesday afternoon, just hours after Powell, 39, was taken into custody in Susquehanna County.

The Susquehanna County Sheriff's Office earlier Tuesday turned over Aaron Powell, 39, to the Broome County Sheriff's Office after Powell waived extradition to New York.

On Friday, the Broome County Sheriff's Office found the bodies of Christina Powell, 35 -- Aaron Powell's estranged wife -- and Mario Masciarelli, 24, of Binghamton, dead in a home at 4185 Lisi Lane.

Harder said Aaron and Christina Powell have been married for the past seven years and have been separated for approximately three months.

Harder had said Masciarelli had been hit over the head with a blunt object, and Christina Powell was strangled.

Sources familiar with the investigation tell Action News Aaron Powell was in the process of negotiating to turn himself in through an attorney.

"Mr. Powell contacted a family member and a close personal friend by telephone," said Sheriff Harder. "The phone call that was made was able to be traced back and pinpointed to a location."

Law enforcement found Powell a short time later at a convenience store in rural Springville Township.

The owner of Checkered Express on Route 29 in Springville Township said a man matching Aaron Powell's description was placed in handcuffs and taken into custody without any problems Tuesday morning.

The man matching Powell's description entered the store, walked around and left without buying anything, said the owner, who declined to give his name. Powell was taken into custody in the parking lot.

Authorities also questioned employees of the Checkered Express.

The convenience store owner said authorities also towed away the vehicle in which Powell arrived, although he said he wasn't sure whether it was the 2007 black GMC Denali the Broome County Sheriff's Office said Powell might be driving.

Harder said Tuesday that SUV was found in a remote part of the Montrose area. He did not say specifically where. It is being processed for evidence.

"Based on the investigation, it is believed that during the past several days, Aaron Powell has been in and around Springville, Pa., and the Montrose, Pa., area," Harder said.

Harder asked anyone who may have seen the black Denali Powell to contact the Sheriff's Office at (607) 779-1911.

Harder said Powell has been in contact with his attorney, Ben Bergman, before being taken into custody. The Broome County Sheriff's Office had also been in contact with Bergman before Powell was taken into custody.

Deputies questioned people related to the Airport Inn in Binghamton during the course of the investigation, Harder said Tuesday. He declined to comment on whether deputies seized surveillance footage from last Thursday night.

Harder would not say whether Aaron Powell or Christina Powell and Mario Masciarelli were at the Airport Inn before the crimes were committed.

Broome County Sheriff's Office investigated 176 leads and executed six search warrants during the course of the investigation.