Mar 12, 2022
By Linda Cicoira
It was to be their “last hurrah” on a weekend in January after which they planned to stop using illegal drugs. It ended with Joshua Seth Powell allegedly threatening his girlfriend, Felicia Gaskins, with a shotgun, she testified in Accomack Circuit Court Thursday.
Gaskins said she would fear for herself and her child if he were to get out of jail.
She added that both her and Powell have mental health issues. Gaskins said she is getting help for her anxiety. He went through rehab but stopped his medication and didn’t seek more after his 30-day supply ran out, Gaskins testified. It was unclear what his diagnosis was.
Thirty-four-year-old Powell, of Savageville, was denied bond and will continue to be held in Accomack Jail on counts of abduction, use of a firearm in a felony, and possession of a firearm by a felon. Powell wanted to return to work at a local poultry plant, or elsewhere, so he could pay his bills.
He said he didn’t remember threatening to break Gaskill’s neck or to punch her in the face. Both of them said they were using cocaine and molly, a synthetic drug also known as Ecstasy and MDMA, that weekend.
“That Sunday night, something flipped in his head,” Gaskins testified. “I got out of the shower with him holding the shotgun. He was talking about people in the upstairs apartment plotting to kill him … I was trying to get him just to go to bed … I knew if he slept it off everything would be fine.” Then Gaskins said, he accused her of setting him up.
“I didn’t know if I was going to live through all that,” she said. He shot out of the window of the upstairs apartment … he held me at gunpoint and told me to drive.” He told her he would “pull her hair and snap her neck.” She said he threatened to “shove a key in her ear and she would be dead.”
Gaskins recorded their conversation on her cell phone during the car ride. Commonwealth’s Attorney J. Spencer Morgan played a few minutes of the recording for the court in an effort to keep Powell from getting bond. The woman hadn’t listened to it and broke down and cried.
“I’ve never been so scared in my life,” she continued. Gaskins said he forced her to drive to Exmore and then make a U-turn and go to Onley, where she escaped at Royal Farms. She said they needed gas. She ran inside to call her mother and the police.
An Accomack deputy responded and later found the shotgun that Gaskins said Powell threw out the car window near the state police barracks in Melfa.
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