Wis. mom sentenced for role in son’s shooting death after he allegedly stole exotic animals
02/07/2023 12:24 pm PST
WAUPACA, Wis. (TCD) -- A judge sentenced a 37-year-old woman to 15 years behind bars for reportedly holding her son at gunpoint before another man killed him for allegedly stealing the man’s exotic reptiles.
Court records show Tiffany Powell received 10 years for recklessly endangering safety and five years for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, with eight years of extended supervision in connection with the October 2020 death of her 18-year-old son, Ryelee Manente-Powell. In addition to the sentence behind bars, the judge ordered Powell to have a meeting every year on the anniversary of her son’s death to discuss her "role and behaviors regarding his death."
Powell had also been charged with party to first-degree intentional homicide, but the charge was dropped after she pleaded no contest to recklessly endangering safety and guilty to possession of a firearm.
According to the criminal complaint cited by WLUK-TV, on Oct. 19, 2020, a man named Bill Zelenski called police to report two teens broke into his home and stole "two handguns, alcohol, and several reptiles including Alvarez Mexican Bearded Lizards/Heloderma Horridum Alvarezi valued at $17,000, a two-foot Nile Crocodile valued at $2,000, a red tail boa constrictor valued at $575, and a baby Burmese python valued at $7,000."
Zelenski and Powell reportedly ran into Manente-Powell on the street, and Manente-Powell allegedly wanted to fight. Zelenski pulled out a gun and gave it to Powell, who aimed it at her son. Zelenski reportedly took the gun back and then fired it, killing Manente-Powell.
Zelenski called 911 after the shooting to report what had happened. A 17-year-old was also later arrested for allegedly breaking into Zelenski’s home.
WLUK reports Zelenski has pleaded not guilty to first-degree intentional homicide. Zelenski’s next hearing is scheduled for Feb. 22.
According to WLUK, at her sentencing, Powell said, "I wish I could go back and change the irrational decisions and choices that were made. Today, I sit here, accepting my accountability in the part of what happened to my son."
She continued, "I wish I could see him here and ask for forgiveness, but to ask for that would mean I would have to forgive myself."
TRUE CRIME DAILY: THE PODCAST covers high-profile and under-the-radar cases every week. Subscribe to our YouTube page for podcasts, exclusive videos, and more, and don’t forget to follow us on TikTok.
Waiting for your permission to load facebook comments.