Alfred Powell has been ordered to stand trial for the December 9, 1982 murder of Seaside resident, Sandra Steppuhn (aka McGee). Following a two-day preliminary hearing, Monterey Superior Court Judge Julie R. Culver found sufficient evidence to hold Powell to answer to the murder charge.
On December 9, 1982, Steppuhn was a 32-year-old mother of three children who lived with roommates in Seaside. She was last seen giving a ride to a male hitchhiker whom witnesses would later identify as Powell. The car she was driving the night of her disappearance was found abandoned in Monterey in 1983, but she was never seen alive again. Steppuhn remained a missing person for the next 32 years.
In September 2015, landscapers digging in a yard on Third Street in Monterey located her skeletal remains buried in a makeshift grave on the property. At the time of her disappearance, Powell lived in a garage on the property where Steppuhn’s remains were discovered.
Powell, now 60, is currently serving a term of 15 years to life in state prison for the March 3, 1983 murder of Suzanne Kay Nixon, a 30-year-old hairstylist from Pebble Beach.
Powell will return to court for arraignment on July 7.