Traffic stop ends in murder conviction
A routine traffic stop by a Utah Highway Patrol trooper on I-15 in Box Elder County seven months ago put a Colorado man in custody for drug charges and eventually led to his pleading guilty to murder in Oregon.
Travis Powers, 24, of Fort Collins, Co., enter the guilty plea on Feb. 21, of this year to the murder of Wayne Klavano, whose body was found at a campsite in Linn County, Ore. Powers faces 25 years to life in prison for the crime.
The county contact with Powers can on July 29, 2013, when Trooper James Martin stopped a gray Ford Explorer with Colorado plates just before midnight near the Willard Bay exit for a faulty passenger side headlight. The driver identified himself as Powers, although his license proved to be invalid. A passenger in the vehicle was identified as Daniel Armbrecht, 21, Pagosa Springs, Colo.
The trooper became suspicious after questioning the pair about where they were coming from and the driver calmly said they had taken a spur-of-the-moment trip to Eureaka, Calif., although the passenger appeared extremely nervous. Powers claimed it was 1,100 miles and a 15-hour trip. A check of the distance showed the trip as being 1,300 miles one way, and the location of the stop on I-15 was not on a route from Eureka to Fort Collins.
The men were asked if there was anything illegal in the vehicle and if they would consent to search. The request was rejected. When asked if there were weapons, the passenger said there could be a knife in the console.
Back-up officers and a K-9 were called to assist and the dog indicated on the presence of drugs in the vehicle. A contraband search was then conducted. Drug paraphernalia, marijuana, a glass pie and a white crystalline substance were uncovered, as was other indications of criminal activity, leading the arrest of both men.
Read more on the story in this week’s Leader