There are quite a few horror stories surrounding MMA fighters, but you won’t find one more brutal than the one from March 21, 2010.
Everything about Jarrod Wyatt and his sparring partner Taylor Powell begins quietly and peacefully, only to end in bloody drama. During the day, the two hang out with friends near the mouth of the Klamath River in the state of California. Later, however, they take heavy hallucinogens, and the next morning the police discover a corpse with organs ripped out.
Powell’s chest was opened, and his heart was removed from the 45 cm hole. His tongue has also been torn out and the skin from his face has been flayed. The heart was later found burned in a wood-burning stove, and forensic experts said the organs had been removed while Powell was still alive.
When the uniforms arrive at a crime scene, they don’t need to look for the killer. The perpetrator, Wyatt, sits naked next to Powell’s corpse. “I killed him,” says the fighter. And later it becomes clear that he, Powell and two more of his acquaintances drank tea with hallucinogenic mushrooms.
Under the influence of the drug, he kills and dismembers his sparring partner, because he “felt that the end of the world was coming and that the devil had taken over his friend”.
“Satan was inside him,” Wyatt tells Police Sergeant Elwood Lee, who takes the call. “At one point he asked me if I was God who had come to save him,” Lee told the Times Standard. The officer also said that Wyatt burned Powell’s severed body parts in a furnace because he thought he was “still alive.”
The police were called by one of the “tea party” participants, Justin Davis, who was initially in the house but then went out to get his dog. When he returned, he found Wyatt threatening Powell that he would “chop him up.”
Also present at the house was Wyatt’s ex-girlfriend, Billie Jo Bailey, whom police found in the bedroom. During the interrogation, she is still in a state of severe drug intoxication, so it is difficult for her to give an adequate testimony about the events of the previous night.
Bailey says the evening of March 20 began at a bar where she met Wyatt and went with him to the house. Powell and Davis appeared later. She also says she’s only seen Powell two or three times before, and Davis is a complete stranger to her.
According to her, Wyatt was initially in a good mood, but the mushrooms made him “crazy.”
They started making the tea after Powell and Davis arrived. At one point, everything quieted down for a short time, after which an argument between the two athletes was heard, which turned into a fight. Then it’s like a horror movie…
District Attorney John Alexander charged Wyatt with first-degree murder and torture of the victim, noting the extreme brutality with which the fighter carried out the crime. All this leads to a life sentence, but the killer’s lawyers argue that he is insane.
In May 2012, a Del Norte County judge heard from an expert panel of psychiatrists and ruled that Jarrod Wyatt is sane and should stand trial for the murder and other related charges.
The judge scheduled the case for September 3, 2012, but just four days before the trial began, the district attorney and the defense reached a settlement.
So Wyatt gets 50 years in prison with no parole until 2062. If he can survive, the fighter will have a chance to go free when he is 79…
After the plea deal was reached, prosecutor John Alexander said, “We saved Taylor Powell’s family the agony of going through another trial.”
The district prosecutor also notes that, in his opinion, the murder was intentional and not as a result of drug intoxication.
However, Wyatt’s defense continues to insist that he did not plan the crime because the mushrooms made him unresponsive. “We were looking for an agreement that would give him the opportunity to get parole at some point. As scary as 50 years sounds, it’s still better than a life sentence,” commented one of the killer’s lawyers.
“The murders I’ve worked on are very often callous, but the cruelty and horror involved in this case surpasses anything I’ve seen so far in my career,” said Judge William Follett, who handed down the 50-year sentence.