Powell's sister and roommate testify in double murder trial

By Kelly McCarthy

July 17, 2014 Updated Jul 18, 2014 at 8:23 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Aaron Powell's sister and one of his closest friends testified for the prosecution in court. Witness testimony continued during the Binghamton man's double murder trial.

Aaron Powell wasn't in the courtroom for witness testimony on Thursday, but members of his family were.

Powell's older sister, Amantha Powell, described the night of March 21, 2013 to the jury. She went to Powell's home on 31 Milford St. in Binghamton with her son around 8:20 p.m. Shortly after her arrival, Powell left his home and asked if she could watch his young son, Sergio, for a little while.

Amantha said she couldn't get a hold of her brother after that, through text or by phone.

According to Amantha, the one and only response she got from him was a text around 2:30 a.m. that read "Give me a second I'm talking to her now."

During cross examination, the defense asked about Aaron Powell's "normal behavior." His sister said it's not unusual for them to watch each other's children. She also said she would describe him as a "night person."

Aaron Powell's long time friend, and roommate at the time, Michael Esworthy was also called to the witness stand. Esworthy owned the two-story apartment on Milford Street, and rented out the first floor to Powell once he moved out of the house at 4185 Lisi Lane.

Esworthy let Powell borrow his car the night of March 21 and had several phone calls with him throughout the night.

During their phone conversations, Powell asked Esworthy questions on how to find Christina, how he could track her phone, and at one point, said he was at the Airport Inn looking for her.

The next morning, Esworthy said he woke up around 6 a.m. and noticed his car was not returned home. He sent a text message to Powell who replied soon after. In their brief conversation, Powell told Esworthy he saw Christina and Mario at her house together, and that he went through her phone, according to Esworthy.

Two members of law enforcement were also called to the witness stand to describe their role in collecting evidence. State Police Investigator Jason Miller searched Esworthy's 2004 Infinity that was found parked near Lisi Lane.

Among the items found in the car were duct tape, a spool of wire and a black sporting bag filled with baseball gear.

Broome County Sheriff's Detective Michael Clapp searched Powell's vehicle found at his home on Milford Street. That vehicle also had a black bag inside, this one containing plastic packaging that held a cell phone and two garage door openers.

Powell is charged with two counts of second degree murder and one count of first degree murder. He is accused of killing his estranged wife, 35-year-old Christina Powell and one of her friends, 24-year-old Mario Masciarelli.