MALDEN – Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Malden Chief of Police Kevin Molis have announced that a Middlesex Superior Court jury found Ryan Power, 34, of Malden, guilty today of first-degree murder in connection with the 2017 death of Leah Penny, 32, of Malden.
Judge Peter Krupp sentenced to the defendant to life without the possibility of parole.
On June 21, 2017, at approximately 9:49 a.m., Malden Police responded to a report of an unresponsive female inside a Lebanon Street home in Malden. Upon arrival police located the body of Leah Penny. The victim was found at the bottom of a staircase with a dog leash wrapped around her neck and a vodka bottle located underneath her. Two children, ages one and two-years-old were located inside the home unharmed. A dog was also located inside the residence.
Malden Police and Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office immediately began an investigation. Police subsequently sought to locate Ryan Power on June 21, after the victim’s body was discovered. Power was located in Seabrook, New Hampshire where he was arrested and charged as a fugitive from justice. Power waived extradition and was transported back to Massachusetts by Malden Police and Massachusetts State Police.
Through their investigation authorities learned that the victim and defendant had been in a relationship beginning in 2014 and that they had two children together. Authorities determined that based on the positioning of the body, and the bottle placed beneath her, the scene had been staged by the defendant who, after strangling the victim from behind with the leash, posed her body in an effort to make it appear the victim’s death was accidental or committed by another person.
When authorities searched the defendant’s phone they discovered 48 audio recordings in which the defendant had secretly recorded arguments between the victim and defendant as well as multiple voice recordings the defendant made to document his interactions with the victim. The recordings were made between April and May of 2017, coinciding with the dissolution of Ryan Power and Leah Penny’s relationship, including during a period when the defendant was not living in the Lebanon Street residence. The defendant also installed hidden cameras on June 3, 2017 within the home he had shared with the victim in order to record her without her knowledge.
Investigators also discovered a nearly hour-long disturbing recording that appeared to have been unwittingly created by the defendant during which time he physically assaulted and threatened to kill the victim.
The prosecutors assigned to this case were Assistant District Attorneys Elizabeth Dunigan and Emily Jackson. The Victim Witness Advocate was Kristen Chamberlain.