Powell trial: Looking back before jury selection

By Kelly McCarthy

July 9, 2014 Updated Jul 9, 2014 at 7:47 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Jury selection for the murder trial of Aaron Powell starts Wednesday morning in Broome County Court. Powell is facing two charges of second degree murder, accused of killing his estranged wife and her friend in 2013.

On March 22, 2013 friends of Christina Powell called police. They could not get in touch with her and were worried.

Two Broome County Sheriff's Deputies broke into Christina's house on 4185 Lisi Lane, and found the bodies of 35-year-old Christina Powell and 24-year-old Mario Masciarelli.

"It appeared that Mario Masciarelli suffered a head wound with a blunt instrument and that Christina had been choked to death," said Sheriff David Harder at a press conference in March, 2013.

The sheriff's office named Aaron Powell, Christina's estranged husband, as the prime suspect. The two had been married for seven years, but were in the process of getting a divorce.

Powell was on the run for four days. It sparked a national manhunt, until police finally got a lead.

"Mr. Powell contacted a family member and a close personal friend by telephone," Sheriff Harder said. "The phone call was made and we were able to trace back and pinpoint to a location."

Powell was spotted by Pennsylvania State Police on March 26, 2013 and taken into custody without struggle.

He's charged with two counts of second degree murder.

Since the deaths of Christina Powell and Mario Masciarelli, the community has held a number of memorials and services to honor their lives.

"She was an energetic, fun to be around, you know. Just a real happy person and she was a great, great mom. And she'd do anything for you," said David Matthews, a family friend, in 2013.

"He (Masciarelli) could light up a room with his smile. Every time, he was smiling, no matter what," said his cousin, Giuseppe Diloreto, in 2013.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin tomorrow morning in Broome County Court.

Judge Cawley is presiding over the trial and it is expected to last up to two weeks.