Months in Jail Leave Innocent Man Struggling

Charles Andre Powell, 40, was arrested and jailed for a crime in Temecula and found not guilty 10 months later.


"This is my only pair of shoes," Charles Andre Powell said as he lifted his foot up to show his worn sandal, straps separating from the sole.

The rest of his shoes -- and most of his worldly possessions -- are in an evidence locker in a sheriff's station. The 40-year-old former Perris resident was arrested and jailed for 11 months for a crime in Temecula he did not commit.

He was on March 2 on four charges related to the mugging and robbery of a Temecula man.

A jury at in French Valley acquitted him of kidnapping, robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and burglary after he sat in jail for 10 months.

He posted bail when it was reduced from $1 million to $5,000 about a month later. Now, he's living at a friend's house in suburban Corona waiting to be sentenced for the only charge of which he was convicted -- drug possession.

He's spending this time trying to figure out how to get his life back together. "I have no idea what to do," he said as he sat on his friend's white concrete porch overlooking the nicely groomed lawn in a quiet, middle-class housing tract.

When he's sentenced on March 26, he might get some of his things back -- his cell phone, his computer, his driver's license -- but until then, he can do little to put his life back together, he said.

"I have no ID. I can't even get into my bank account without my ID or passport," he said. "I'm trying to get back on my feet, but I don't have any resources. They took my life from me for 11 months."

In the dark

on suspicion of tying up, beating and robbing his ex-wife's boyfriend in February, 2011 in a garage in the 40000 block of Paseo Serenoas.

Powell knew nothing about the crime until he was unexpectedly pulled over.

A friend, his girlfriend and Powell were driving together in April when suddenly red and blue lights lit up the car's cab.

"I just said, 'Pull over and get your ticket,'" he recalled telling his friend, who was behind the wheel.

Numerous patrol cars surrounded them, pulled them from the car, cuffed Powell and took him to jail.

Light shed on charges

Powell first learned what the charges were when he signed a plea form during his arraignment, he said. He pleaded not guilty.

The robbers left behind plenty of physical evidence, but none of it pointed to Powell, according to Jeff Zimel, Powell's attorney.

To read the original report of the crime,

The only evidence the prosecution presented was the testimony of a witness, which the jury, Zimel said.

After a friend posted a bail bond, Powell was released in French Valley at 3 a.m. with nothing but the clothing he was wearing and his pair of sandals, he recalled.

No alibi

Powell's lack of an alibi caused him trouble. On the morning of the mugging, Powell was asleep at his friend's home in Perris.

He was planning to move to Los Angeles in a few weeks, and was sleeping on his friend's couch in the meantime.

The friend was in the house with Powell that morning, but the man refused to testify in court because investigator's found drugs in his home after the arrest.

"He didn't want to incriminate himself," Powell said.

So, since Powell had no alibi, he was jailed, even though investigators had no physical evidence.

"The system is really, really messed up," he said. "Why should I have to pay because you have the wrong person. I have nothing now."

Powell's ex-wife suspected he may have mugged her boyfriend, which kicked off the police's investigation.

He and his former spouse had a rocky relationship since their divorce about a decade ago, he said.

Acting on the ex-wife's tip, police showed photos of Powell to the only witness, a woman who saw two men running away from the crime scene, Zimel said.

The witness at first told police she would be unable to recognize the suspect. Later, after she saw numerous pictures of Powell, she said she was pretty sure it was him. By the time of the trial, she said she was 100 percent sure, Zimel said.

"Once they had me, they didn't look for anybody else," Powell said. "I was irritated about the whole situation."

Making the best of it

Powell decided to use his time in jail productively. "Getting through that was challenging… but I try to make the best I can of any situation," he said.

So, he read a lot of books he ordinarily would not have, and learned a lot that way, he said. "It was a useful experience," he said.

Diane Johnson March 15, 2012 at 04:41 PM
muhahahaha !!!
Peter Surowski March 15, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Oops. It's fixed. Thanks for letting me know, JJ Fan.
Popeye March 15, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Hey y'all, if it doesn't fit, you must acquit..:). Right from OJ handbook...
TVOR March 15, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Race is often the easiest descriptor to identify a person preliminarrily. It is a thing that most people will recognize. I didn't get the impression that race was mentioned in any of the first comments in a way that was "racist".
Brenda March 15, 2012 at 10:36 PM
I didnt either, from the article or the comments. Unless JJ snuck one in, it got deleted before we saw it. I was thinking about this case doing some errands, and maybe Secret or Amazing has some time to jump in on this. But it says his alibi, refused to testify for Powell on his whereabouts at that time. "The friend was in the house with Powell that morning, but the man refused to testify in court because investigator's found drugs in his home after the arrest. "He didn't want to incriminate himself," Powell said. So, since Powell had no alibi, he was jailed, even though investigators had no physical evidence. "The system is really, really messed up," he said. "Why should I have to pay because you have the wrong person. I have nothing now."" First off Powell, you didnt have anything before you were arrested apparently sleeping on someones couch, who wouldnt even give you an alibi, and on your way to LA. Now, why would this supposed guy with the alibi for Powell not testify to THAT even if he was found with pot on him? His drugs were already found by an investigator, so he would be charged with it anyway, no reason not to testify for his buddy freedom right? Being his friends alibi would not have incriminated him in anything right, they had already found the drugs. So police tell him to plead the 5th and they wont press charges on the drugs? This all sounds like a buncha bunk. Funk? Junk? Whatever that word is I am looking for.
Popeye March 16, 2012 at 12:52 AM
I am trying to figure out why this loser rates an article written on why he is inept...
Brenda March 16, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Pops, So he or someone for him can start asking for donations to help him out with a house, car, etc? Heck, I don't know, can't think of a reason.
Tonto March 16, 2012 at 04:11 AM
Probably a Tea Bagger Popeye. They're under every rock, around every corner, i think they are taking over soon :)
Paul March 16, 2012 at 01:11 PM
By Murrieta Paul. Eye witness identification's are very often wrong. Especially where the police or prosecution use their influence to encourage the witness or pressure the witness who may not be certain by saying "we know this is the man who did it, he is dangerous and must be taken off the street, it depends on you to say this is the man who raped you." You may have read of some men in prison in Texas for 20 to 27 years for rape's they did not commit, but were identified in court by the victim. Over 25 of them have now been released one at a time by the efforts of the innocence project. In these case there was still evidence retained and so now DNA testing was done that proved the person identified in court was NOT the rapest. It is believed there may be as many as 200 more that can be found innocent. The current prosecuter admitted there was "over zealous" prosecution years ago. Most of these cases were in Dallas County and all of the falsely accused men were black.
Paul March 16, 2012 at 01:26 PM
By Murrieta Paul. Here is another thing that is wrong with the system that is really very bad. The articles about the men that are wrongly iddentified and convicted usually say the man could have been released from prison years go IF they told the parole committee that "Yes I was guilty and now I am very sorry and remorseful and would never do anyhthing like this crime again." But these men were innocent of the crime, and have such strong moral character they stayed in prison for years proclaiming their innocense. There were probably hundreds more innocent men that went along with this terrible systematic institutionalized system of not letting them out of prison because they still insist on their innocence.
Paul March 16, 2012 at 01:32 PM
By Murrieta Paul A recent newspaper article told about a current case in another state where DNA evidence clearly showed that the man in prison was not the criminal, the procecutor actually said she did not care what the DNA evidence is, she has an "EYE WITNESS and THAT TOPS DNA evidence, and therefore the man is guilty. Such ignorance is an abomination to justice.
Mr. Lada March 16, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Read what Dre himself has to say about this in the comments section... http://temecula.patch.com/articles/alleged-mugger-found-not-guilty
Elaine March 16, 2012 at 05:47 PM
I am really tired of hearing the judgment made by citizens who were not on the jury, the only ones presented with whatever evidence is associated with the case. Yes, sometimes guilty people are not convicted and sometimes innocent people are convicted. By the way I see it, it is not a perfect system but it is by far more equitable than a lynch mob or the public with lots of opinions. Ask yourself, have you served your civic duty when called or are you among those who try to get out of it because it is inconvenient?
Crime Fighter March 16, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Eye witness testimony is notoriously inaccurate, the witness said she couldn't identify the person but after months and months of the police and D.A. telling her it was him she now believes it. Happens all the time, so many people in prison do to miss identification.
Brenda March 16, 2012 at 06:24 PM
That is all true Paul, and the parole board does go in wanting to hear you found GOD, you do this and that with the church now, you got an AA or better, you are highly remorseful for the crime you committed, and if you could today you would kneel at her feet and tell her you are sorry. But someone like me, if I was in jail and had done the crime I would have a hard time saying that just because the parole board wanted to hear it right? I just don't think I could do it. Its a bad system we have even now with so much technology.
Brenda March 16, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Yes it is ridiculous. As was Oj's who matched right, all three of their bloods were all over each other? Either way its an abomination for any one to say that an Eye witness is more damning then DNA.
DreFizical March 16, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Thank you....
DreFizical March 16, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Hey Sweetie, don't get into going back and forth with this type of stuff. Nothing good comes out of it, just stay sweet and keep smiling, I have always had haters and you know this, so I don't expect to stop having them now... When it comes down to it, I let them think what they want. If they care enough to bother with what I do or am going thru, then I'm already better than them. Mad luv mama, Dre
DreFizical March 16, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Hey Brenda, since you called me out I will respond. First I want to thank you for your thoughts and opinions. I wasn't arrested at my friends (who is a surgeon) house. I was arrested in a car, my ex told the police about his house and that is why they searched it. They didn't find pot or any other drug on me and I don't have any addictions. My friend wasn't charged with anything so yea they could have charged him if he testified. I was at his house b/c my mansion in South America burned down and I lost everything, so I was starting over, some of us have had to struggle for success! What you said about not having anything before I got arrested was an evil thing to say. I was on my way to my business bank accounts at Chase to deposit money into my Entertainment company...TpC Industries LLC, I no longer have those accounts b/c they closed them and put me in cheks system, and since the police have my passports and ID I can't open them, my membership website is also gone along with my hosting that I paid for for a year which expired January, I lost the names to my company's website b/c they expired in December. I lost the investors I had for my company and I missed my daughters last year playing basketball for Mater Dei! My business gone, my bank accounts gone, my members gone, my house in Hollywood gone, my daughters pissed! There is much more but you get it. There is no substitute for accurate knowledge!
Mr. Lada March 16, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Thank you Dre for responding to Brenda, I bet she feels pretty ashamed of herself right about now.
DreFizical March 16, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Ok everyone, I was trying to stay away from this but it seems we need a lesson on "The Golden Rule"! We all go through things and people help you when you fall. Everyone falls, but I promise you I won't stay down! I will surpass all of the better than thou people who live in a glass house but continue to throw stones. If any of you had a clue of who Dre was you would go away better than when you came, this I promise you. I don't need anyone's pity or sympathy, that is pathetic but common decency for your fellow man...hello? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you if the situation was reversed is the golden rule, and I don't think if you were in this position you would like the evil things you said about yourselves! So be nice and stop being retarded to each other, not just me...everyone. It is discouraging to know that our destruction is going to come from our own hands. Anger, jealousy, hatred, cynicism, envy, greed, power and competition over race, economic state and sex are all people think about, and we are so evil to each other when we are all the same...and none of that crap is important! I'm severely disappointed in all of you with this self righteous bs, even if it wasn't about me...I am disgusted, Tea bagger? What is that, under a rock...sit w/ me and discuss business! Failure only presents itself to embrace the strength we possess, to overcome, should we so choose to use our imagination in the aspect of opportunity rather than limitation! Dre
DreFizical March 16, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Mr. Lada Thank you for your support and your kind words. May your days be blessed with love and peace along with everyone else. Dre
Brenda March 16, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Oh Lada, read it again, geesh. Of course I do not feel ashamed, but I am pleased that Mr. Dre has come out and is giving his side to the "story". Also in going back and reading the original story, that in itself, does not even come close to listing a suspect or even hint at one. Its really a ludicrous story of a crime. I didnt even remember it hitting the news until I re-read it, that is how little of a thing it was. How in the world it went from that article to Mr. Dre being arrested is beyond me. I was going to type on the original post of the crime but didnt have time earlier, so I just linked this story to it till I could get back and do it. My questioning the alibi was not to pile more on Mr. Dre but I was thinking that the police DID not want the man/doctor/guy with couch and a bit of drugs, because he would say Mr. Dre was with him on that day, and that would give him an alibi! Rawr. read it over please Mr. Lada, my own personal hounddog. Mr. Dre I am very glad you are responding, and actually as everyone goes back to the first article in Feb we will see that is very vague in itself for the length of time the burglarers must have been there, and did not take anything in the burglary I think it said. So re-reading both articles, makes everything appear a bit different. With the alibi not given it does seem they wanted a warm body. Someone could have been made executor to take care of your financial issues so you didnt lose everything. That is terrible.
DreFizical March 16, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Thank you for clarifying Brenda, honestly I tried to get my team to take care of the business, but I suppose the 17 pages of directions I wrote were a bit overwhelming and being in jail doesn't help everyone's company moral...lol. So I took the hit and told my staff that I would just handle it when I got out, which I am doing the best I can to do now. I will be back on top, I may have come from under a rock but I have been successful only b/c of the struggles I have encountered. So this will make me stronger b/c I won't break! According to my discovery the victim was missing a phone and some keys, whether they were taken or not I don't know but that is what they said was missing. They didn't find pot at my friend/doctors house, it was a harsher drug and if you went over his house anytime after I was locked up or today, you would find the same drugs they charged me with having right now. Simply put I was driving down the street minding my own business and they arrested me took all my things, searched my friends house and held me for a year, and now still have my laptop, my passports, my shoes, my cameras, my cell phones, my money, my company paperwork and my clothes and whatever else they wanted and won't give it back and I have no clue why, but I will jump through their hoops and still come out on top....and when I do, I will invite all to my Mansion party's all over the world. www.youtube.com/theplatinumcastle www.TpCIndustries.net www.ThePlatinumCastle.net! Thanks
Barbara R March 21, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Did you ever hear his friend's statements about the glove? He told OJ to not take his blood pressure medication so his hands would swell up. Therego, glove didn't fit, and that stupid look on his face. Not vindication, but strange grimice suggesting "Is this gonna work...?" Look to jury, short nod. Unforgettable. The system fails no doubt. It works much better when we all take the time to be aware of what is going on around us, and be honest with others about it. I'm sure the witness tryed but got lost along the way, and didn't stand up and check with herself and her real memory. Too bad we don't know who really did this.
Barbara R March 21, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Really, that's why I started reading the article. I was concerned that someone had nothing after being falsely accused. But I went to his posted links and I don't want to donate, support, or even watch that type of lifestyle. Never have, never will. I'm not impressed but I think he will come up with some sceme to make money.
DreFizical March 21, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Update: So as of our last visit things were rough. Just so you know exactly who your talking about, I am going to keep everyone informed on my progress in this thing called life. TpC Industries LLC is up, I went to DMV yesterday to try and get my ID so I can open the accounts but after sitting there for 2 hours there systems went down and I have to go back on Friday...no biggie, just glad I didn't walk. I had 2 meetings Monday with my new team members the Head of TpC Web Solutions and Head of TpC Promotions (Public Relations). They both along with our new CFO who came onboard last week, were more than excited about being a part of the TpC family and help me make history. The website is being completed and I should have an ID and the business accounts back up by next week. I am soooo excited about how good I am at whatever I put my mind to it's crazy. I have been working on TpC Industries for a long time now and the last year I was locked up actually put me over the top mentally b/c I treated it like 11 months of school and read and inspired as many people as possible. I learned a lot about myself in the last year and one of the main things I learned is that...Success is always permanent when th realization comes that failure is always temporary. I hope and wish the best for everyone here. Please stop going over the past and OJ and all that, let's look to the future and how we can become a better people. I get back at everyone soon and let you know where we are!
Brenda March 21, 2012 at 08:26 PM
YA know Charles Andre I think this is a good place to have a journal or update story going on. Or maybe the Patch will move it to its own place. Might educate all of us or might not. With this avenue of communication at this point it doesnt matter so much as to if you did or not, but your road to recovery in my opinion. However, after reading everything I could find and the jury finding you innocent, that is the way it is and I would enjoy seeing how you move forward and turn something really bad into something good. ;) So I will definately read.
DreFizical October 16, 2012 at 04:59 AM
Hello everyone....Dre is back~~~ An update to my status as of March when I got out of jail! My businesses...plural are back up....almost. We are in the final stages of launch. I have a full executive staff, the website is complete, and yes it's an Entertainment Website in the adult arena. Not rated X but HBO...or similar to The Playboy Mansion on steroids! I am doing very well, my daughter graduated from Mater Dei in May, and got a scholarship to Cal State LA. My life is coming together and I would like to thank all of you for your support whether positive or negative, I honestly don't care b/c I love my haters as much as those that don't. Everyone I suppose has a fan club...mine is just bigger than most on both sides...LOL! If anyone has any questions or concerns or opinions I would love to hear them...although I realize I am old news, I guarantee soon....all of you will know Dre soon! I wish all of you the best and hope for love and peace and being OPEN MINDED and more understanding towards each other. Dre
Brenda October 16, 2012 at 07:57 AM
Dre seriously? Keywords, Adult Entertainment, websites, videos, writing, adult arena, Cinemax actually, LOL. Private adult parties, members only. This is too much of a coincidence, but tell me, what does the White Castle have to do with this? Filming, location for members? Glad to hear you are doing better, much better and your daughters are as well. You got a raw deal and re-reading what I wrote I am not sure that I was a hater except not understanding why the "friend" would not give you the alibi. I mean that basically is what threw you in jail was no alibi hun. :/ Ex's are not the easiest people to put up with, wives, husbands, girlfriends, boyfriends, friends etc. etc.


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