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Thread: Two people have been arrested over the deaths of Breezy Otteson (17) and Riley Powell (18) after their bodies were found in a mine shaft

  1. #26
    Senior Member AmandaJ's Avatar
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    2063136 A Utah man allegedly ?forced? a 17-year-old girl to kneel and watch as he stabbed her 18-year-old boyfriend, then slashed the girl?s throat before throwing both victims down an abandoned mine shaft, according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE.

    ?She was right there,? Utah County Sheriff?s Sgt. Spencer Cannon tells PEOPLE. ?Unless she closed her eyes, she would have had to see it.?

    Victims Brelynne ?Breezy? Otteson and her boyfriend, Riley Powell, were reported missing Jan. 2. Their bodies were recovered months later, on March 28, based upon information from Baum?s girlfriend, who had been arrested on unrelated charges, the sheriff?s office said in a news release.

    Prosecutors detailed the allegations in the newly released documents as suspect Jerrod William Baum, 41, briefly appeared in court Tuesday after being charged with aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, abuse or desecration of a human body and obstructing justice, among other counts, according to local news station KUTV, The Salt Lake Tribune and CBS News.

    Baum has not yet entered a plea and is scheduled to be back in court with a public defender on April 26. No attorney was available to speak on his behalf.

    He is being held in the Utah County jail with no bond. A charging document and probable cause affidavit, obtained by PEOPLE, allege that Baum kidnapped the teenage couple after they made a Dec. 29 visit to smoke marijuana at the residence Baum shared with his girlfriend, 34-year-old Morgan Henderson, and Baum?s father in Mammoth.

    Otteson and Powell planned to return to their home in nearby Eureka but never made it.

    Henderson told investigators that Baum had forbidden her from having ?guy friends.? After Henderson thought the teenagers had left the house, Baum took her outside and she saw Otteson and Powell in the back of Baum?s Jeep, where prosecutors say their hands and feet were bound and their mouths covered with duct tape, according to allegations in affidavit and charging document.

    Baum made Henderson get into the Jeep with him and he drove to the Tintic Standard Mine, the documents allege. The tape at the teenagers? feet was cut so they could walk up to the mine, says Sheriff?s Sgt. Cannon. Henderson ?described that Brelynne was forced to kneel near the open mine pit and witness the beating of her boyfriend, Riley Powell, and his stabbing, before she had her throat cut and was also thrown into the open mine,? Henderson told investigators, according to the court documents.

    Baum?s girlfriend ?also described [Baum] stabbing Riley Powell through the groin. Reports from the officer who attended the victim?s autopsies with the medical examiner corroborate Morgan?s statements and likely indicate she would have been present when the killings occurred.?

    Henderson further told police that ?prior to the killings, [Baum] was operating under the belief that Brelynne was pregnant, having offered to Brelynne and Riley his congratulations as they walked from the car to the open mine shaft.?

    However, prosecutors do not believe the victim was pregnant, said Deputy Utah County Attorney Chad Grunander at a news conference on Tuesday.

    Grunander described the teenagers? deaths as ?heinous, depraved murders? but said his office has not yet decided whether to pursue the death penalty for Baum.

    A charge against Henderson for alleged obstruction of justice is pending, Cannon tells PEOPLE.

    According to a previously released affidavit in the case, Baum allegedly claimed to Henderson that after making Powell ?suffer,? he ?felt bad? about killing Otteson and ?made it quick and painless? for her.

    Baum previously spent 11 years in federal prison on firearms and weapons charges, PEOPLE confirmed. He was released in July 2016 but was still on supervised parole when the teens were killed.

  2. #27
    So is the killer Riley's mum's boyfriend?

  3. #28
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  4. #29
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    Family members of Riley Powell and Brelynne “Breezy” Otteson wept and hugged one another Friday as the girlfriend of a man accused of killing the two teenagers pleaded guilty to lying during the murder investigation.

    Facing 30 counts of obstruction of justice, Morgan Henderson, 35, of Mammoth, cried quietly sitting in the jury box on Friday as she listened to statements from the family members.

    “There are no words to describe the way that I feel,” said Amanda Hunt, the aunt of Brelynne Otteson, as she brushed away her own tears. “Morgan deprived us of the closure we desperately needed and wanted.”

    Henderson pleaded guilty to 10 counts of obstruction of justice, all second-degree felonies. The additional 20 counts were dismissed as part of a plea deal.

    Henderson will serve three years in jail or until the case against Jerrod Baum, 41, the man accused of murdering the two teenagers, is resolved. She was also sentenced to five years on probation starting on the day of her sentencing.

    In exchange for the plea deal, Henderson agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in the continuing investigation and court case against Baum. The cooperation includes consulting with investigators, testifying truthfully in court and divulging any information about Baum or the murders.

    “For myself, it’s that step that we need to move forward,” Hunt said after the sentencing. “This is a win for us because we have closure. She’s agreed to move forward with that and that’s what we need. In a way, she’s an ally to get to Jared.”

  5. #30
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    Jerrod Baum charged in deaths of Brelynne Otteson, 17, and Riley Powell, 18
    Morgan Henderson, 35, said Baum became enraged because the teen couple came over to their house to smoke marijuana with her in December 2017
    Baum bound the teens and put them in Powell's Jeep and had Henderson get in the car before he drove them to an abandoned mine shaft in the Utah desert
    Henderson said he made her and Otteson watch as he stabbed Powell to death
    Cradled Otteson as she cried, told her it would be ok, and allegedly slit her throat
    Their bodies were only found March 2018 after Henderson confessed to police

  6. #31
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    From last summer:

    The Juab County man charged with killing two teens and throwing their bodies down an abandoned mine shaft pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder and kidnapping in a Provo courtroom Monday. The prosecuting agency in the case will now determine if they are going to seek the death penalty.

    Jerrod Baum, 42, of Mammoth, was charged in 4th District Court in Provo last month with two counts of aggravated murder in the deaths of 18-year-old Riley Powell and 17-year-old Brelynne “Breezy” Otteson, who went missing in December 2017.
    Both families stand firm with the desire to seek the death penalty for Baum, according to a Facebook post from Otteson’s aunt Amanda Hunt.
    Site where memorial is being planned for Riley Powell and Brelynne “Breezy” Otteson who were killed in 2018, Eureka, Utah, April 24, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Amanda Hunt, St. George News

    Hunt also said that plans are underway to set up a memorial park and trailhead in Eureka in honor of Powell and Otteson on two acres of land donated by Eureka city officials during a meeting with the the couple’s family and Chief Consolidated Mining Company in April.

    Baum is being represented by the Utah County Public Defender’s Office in Provo. The next court hearing is set for Aug. 12, as Judge Derek Pullan plans to set up a scheduling order for trial.

    Utah County Attorney David O. Leavitt announced Wednesday that he will approve the death penalty as an sentencing option if accused killer Jerrod Baum is convicted of the murder of teens Brelynne “Breezy” Otteson and her boyfriend, Riley Powell, of Eureka.

    Otteson was 17 and Powell was 18 when they disappeared in late December of 2017. Their bodies were discovered in an Utah County abandoned mine, 250 feet below the surface, in March of 2018.

    Baum’s girlfriend, Morgan Henderson, led police to the mine location after she was arrested during a traffic stop. Baum was taken into custody shortly afterward.

    “My decision has been to allow the death penalty to be considered in this case,” Leavitt said Wednesday morning at a news conference.

    “That is a very different thing, I will point out, than seeking death penalty. It is not my role to seek it. It is my role to present the facts and give people the option. If a jury of his peers convicts him, they will decided if his previous life and the consequences of this crime warrant” capital punishment, Leavitt said.

    “Do I believe we will get a conviction,” he added. “It’s the role of the jury to decide guilt or innocence.”

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