Within two days of fatally stabbing her alleged lover's ex-husband, Nancy Powers altered her story to police, the jury at her murder trial learned Tuesday.
At Mercy Hospital in December -- after being told she could still alter her claims of being abducted at knifepoint by Raymond "Jack" Jarmack and forced to drive to his house -- Ms. Powers said "she couldn't recant what she told us, now," State Police Investigator Paul Jackson testified.
Jackson and Detective Lt. Steven Bierut of the East Aurora Police Department weren't asked to explain that cryptic comment, but both said Ms. Powers altered her claims about her alleged car ride with Jarmack after being told it probably was videotaped in an ongoing drug probe.
Ms. Powers initially claimed Jarmack sat next to her and forced her to drive. But when told of an East Aurora drug probe that involved videotaping vehicular traffic, she claimed he was on the floor of the car out of camera range, Jackson and Bierut testified.
A seventh day of testimony was set today before State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia and a six-woman, six-man jury.
Ms. Powers, an Orchard Park school bus monitor and the divorced mother of three, is charged with killing Jarmack, 42, a Buffalo Sewer Authority chemist, in his home on Cook Road in the Town of Aurora on Dec. 15. She has been jailed since February.
She is accused of killing Jarmack because of his efforts to regain custody of his three daughters from his former wife, Kathy Phillips of Seneca Falls, Ms. Powers' alleged lover.
Jackson and Bierut were accused by Ms. Powers' attorneys, Joel L. Daniels and John P. Pieri, of trying to prod her into saying something about the killing that fit what they thought happened and of taking inadequate notes. The officers said they talked to her four times at the hospital within 48 hours of the incident.
Under questioning by prosecutor Joseph M. Mordino, they said Ms. Powers said Jarmack abducted her at knifepoint from the Ames Plaza in East Aurora, forced her to drive in her mother's car to his house, and was "ranting and raving" about his ex-wife all the way.
The investigators also said she claimed Jarmack forced her into his bedroom and changed into his sweat pants and T-shirt before forcing her into the living room while he "kept talking weird." She then managed to spray him with pepper spray she had purchased that morning for Ms. Phillips.
She said the fight continued until Jarmack collapsed after trying to push her down the basement stairs while "wildly" swinging a series of knives, Bierut testified.
Ms. Powers also claimed she was able to fend off all but three of his knife slashes because of "defensive training" she had taken, even though no defense-type wounds were found on her forearms, the two investigators testified.
Bierut, completing two days on the stand, said he and other officers got to the Jarmack house shortly before midnight Dec. 15 and found him dead, lying barefoot and face down in the rear hallway.
A military-style bayonet -- which Ms. Powers' ex-husband, Jeffrey S. Powers, on Friday identified as one of the bayonets he had given to one of Ms. Powers' brother years before -- was found on the floor of the living room, along with another knife, the officer testified.
Bierut said no blood was found leading from the house to the driveway where Ms. Powers' car had been parked.