Photo: Utah County Sheriff’s Office/Courtesy
A Utah man could spend a lifetime in prison for the 2017 murder of a young couple, whose bodies were found in an abandoned mine shaft.
Jerrod Baum, 45, was convicted of the murder of Brelynne ‘Breezy’ Otteson, 17, and Riley Powell, 18.
The teenagers were allegedly killed by the man after he found them with his girlfriend, Morgan Lewis, at their home in Eureka, Utah, prosecutors say.
As they point out, the defendant would have exploded in anger seeing them togetherafter forbidding his girlfriend to have any male friends, including Powell, whom he had previously dated.
Baum’s then-girlfriend informed investigators that the man had gone to her house a day later to pick her up “to have a conversation”while both teenagers remained in the back of their jeep tied up.
According to Fox 13, Baum took Otteson and Powell to an abandoned mine. on the outskirts of the old silver mining town, and on the spot he slit the woman’s throat, while the boy was beaten and stabbed.
And to complete his crime, he would have thrown the corpses of his victims into the mine shaftwhich were found after several months.
Utah County Assistant District Attorney Christine Scott reminded jurors of the grueling search for Powell and Otteson, which began in December 2017.
“Jerrod Baum kidnapped Riley and Breezy, murdered Riley and Breezy. Note their bodies in the mine shaft. We ask that you find him guilty,” the prosecutor said.
The families of the slain teenagers were shocked when the verdicts were read after 18 hours.
Amanda Davis, Otteson’s aunt, told the media that Hearing the word “guilty” was a huge relief.
Baum was not only charged with two counts of aggravated murder, but also the jury found him guilty on six other counts: two counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of abuse or desecration of a dead human body, and obstruction of justice.
The charges of aggravated homicidewould lead the defendant to face a possible maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
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