Local News

Driver Sentenced in Hit-and-Run That Killed Nurse

Posted September 5, 2007

— A Durham man has been sentenced to 10 to 12 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to killing a nurse last fall while driving a stolen SUV.

Shawn Maurice Powell, 30, pleaded guilty to felony hit-and-run, misdemeanor death by vehicle, possession of a stolen vehicle and driving with a revoked license.

Police said Powell had stolen a Honda Passport from Winston-Salem and sped through the stoplight at the intersection of Lakewood and Vickers avenues in Durham on Oct. 5.

The stolen sport utility vehicle collided with a Toyota RAV4 driven by Lisa Knelson, a 47-year-old nurse and mother of two sons. Knelson's vehicle then slammed into the side of a house, killing her.

Powell fled from the scene and was apprehended several hours later on East Enterprise Street after an extensive manhunt.

Knelson was returning to work at ARC of Durham from a seminar at the time of the accident. The organization helps people in need.


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  • Lightfoot3 Sep 6, 2007

    15 minutes alone with him? I’d need at least an hour for the propane torch treatment.

  • Sessy - Italiana Sep 6, 2007

    Lets see, he steals a car, then kills someone and gets 10-12 yrs for taking a LIFE, there are 2 kids that will NEVER see their mom again..... what the heck is wrong with this story?! He should of gotten a MUCH stiffer sentence.

  • Con Amor Sep 6, 2007

    He should have been given more time !! The victims family should be alowed to have 15 min. in a closed room with this guy.

  • richard2 Sep 5, 2007

    This was not justice. The public has been failed again.

  • hdsoftail Sep 5, 2007

    did it say the guy was drinking? What an idiot! LOL

  • Nancy Sep 5, 2007

    Until we exact a REAL punishment on people who commit crimes and kill others we will never be rid of those so willing to break the laws.

    This is yet another travesty of justice.

  • shine Sep 5, 2007

    Bad is as Bad does..... unfortunatly it usually takes some others with it. It is always horrible and even though the perp. needs some time ------------ it will not bring her back. SAD!

  • -info- Sep 5, 2007

    Interesting a family who is handed a lifetime of pain and heartache and a wasted piece of human protoplasm that gets 12 years which equals what 4 1/2 by todays standards...makes stoning look good...............this from a fellow nurse.......

  • colliedave Sep 5, 2007

    Wish the story would have included the max. he could of received.

  • Gandalf The White Sep 5, 2007

    benson, next time read the entire story before you post and you might rant about the actual content the article is about. Alcohol was never mentioned so ya might rethink ranting until there is a story about DUI's.