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A Utah jury has found a man guilty of killing two teenagers, putting an end to a case that has been open for over four years.
The jury on Friday found Jerrod Baum guilty on all eight charges related to the murders of Breezy Otteson and Riley Powell, who were a couple.
Otteson and Powell’s bodies were both found in a Utah mine that had been abandoned. The two were last seen together on Dec. 29, 2017 and were reported missing on Jan. 2, 2018, according to KSLTV.
The horrific discovery of the two teenagers was made on March 27, 2018, where they were both found with their hands tied behind their backs with stab wounds present, a police affidavit said.
Jerrod Baum (Utah County Sheriff’s Office)
Baum was arrested one day after the discovery was made, and was eventually charged with first-degree murder for both deaths, in addition to other felonies.
He was found guilty of two counts of aggravated murder, two counts of aggravated kidnappings, two counts of desecration of a dead body, one count of obstruction of justice, and one count of dangerous weapon possession by a restricted person, according to Fox 13.
Baum’s sentencing is scheduled for June 1. Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty since the state was considering a repeal of capital punishment.
The trial began on March 7, after a judge determined on May 1, 2019 that there was enough evidence to take the case to a trial.
Jurors spent nearly two days in deliberations, according to Fox 13.
Baum’s ex-girlfriend Morgan Lewis Henderson told detectives that he used a knife to kill the two teenagers before dumping their bodies in a mine that was abandoned.
Brelynne “Breezy” Otteson, 17 and her boyfriend, Riley Powell, 18
Henderson later told detectives that she saw Otteson and Powell tied up in the back of Powell’s jeep, and Baum told her “to get in the jeep and that they would go for a ride to have a talk.”