Man accused of murdering teenage couple had extensive criminal history

Mar 29, 2018, 10:11 PM | Updated: 11:26 pm

UTAH COUNTY — The man accused of murdering a teenage couple and dumping their bodies in a mine had an extensive criminal history that once included an attempted murder charge, according to court records.

Jerrod William Baum, Utah County Sheriff’s Office

When Jerrod William Baum was 15-years-old in 1991, he was charged with attempted murder, aggravated robbery and multiple counts of theft, stemming from a spree in which police accused him of stealing several vehicles and robbing an Orem fast food restaurant at gunpoint.

Investigators, at the time, said Baum fired at workers as they followed him into the parking lot.

Baum ultimately pleaded guilty to four second-degree felony counts of theft.

In 1994, Baum—then an inmate—was charged with assault in connection with a 5-hour riot at the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison.

Court records show Baum’s history also includes multiple alleged weapons violations, including one in February, as Riley Powell and Breezy Otteson remained missing.

Wednesday, crews recovered the remains of Powell and Otteson from a mine in a remote corner of Utah County.

RELATED: 2 bodies discovered in mine shaft could be missing Eureka teenagers

A police affidavit alleged that Baum tied up the teens and drove them to the mine, where he killed them with a knife and disposed of their bodies.

The affidavit said Powell and Otteson had visited the home of Baum’s girlfriend, Morgan Henderson, and that Baum had previously told Henderson not to have men in the house when he was not there.

According to the affidavit, Henderson told investigators that Baum said to her the day after the couple’s visit that he knew they had been there, and that “it was too bad because he has never killed an innocent before.”

Baum, according to Henderson’s account to detectives, told his girlfriend “he made Riley suffer but that he felt bad about Brelynne (Breezy) and made it quick and painless.”

Baum was being held Thursday at the Utah County Jail on suspicion of aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, desecration of a human body, witness tampering, obstructing justice and a weapons violation.

RELATED: Arrests made in deaths of missing Eureka teens

Thursday afternoon, family members of the two victims were in disbelief over the details.

“These are just kids, he’s a 41-year-old man,” said Amanda Hunt, Otteson’s aunt. “Regardless, I guess the mentality isn’t there, but you don’t kill kids over jealousy.”

The two families once again expressed hope for justice in the case.

“How could someone be that mad that someone was over there—I mean, what the heck!?!” exclaimed Bill Powell, Riley’s father. “There’s two kids who had their lives ahead of them… gone.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Ryan Smith posted this image to X on Tuesday, showing a new NBA and NHL arena anchoring what he cal...

Josh Ellis

Lawmakers debate NHL arena funding as Church supports project’s potential to ‘revitalize downtown’

The Utah House of Representatives is continuing to discuss a bill to fund a National Hockey League stadium and “sports and entertainment” district in downtown Salt Lake City as the clock ticks down on the 2024 general legislative session.

11 minutes ago

Snow in Little Cottonwood Canyon...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

Here’s what to expect as remnants of California blizzard head to Utah

A winter storm warning has been issued for parts of the Wasatch Mountains, while other mountain areas in Utah's northern half are listed in a winter storm watch ahead of a storm that has the potential to deliver multiple feet of snow over the next few days.

2 hours ago

February, 29, otherwise know as leap year day, is shown on a calendar Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024, in Ove...

Eliza Pace

Nine Leap Day deals and discounts

It's Leap Day and the extra day in February has some extra deals this year. 

3 hours ago

A Lehi home was destroyed in a fire Thursday morning. (Jeanteil Livingston, Lehi City)...

Karah Brackin

Lehi house partially collapses following massive fire

Several emergency crews responded to a large fire that severely damaged a Lehi home Thursday morning.

6 hours ago

Two people were killed in a plane crash in Grand County on Feb. 7. The National Transportation Safe...

Cassidy Wixom, KSL.com

Plane fell like a ‘corkscrew’ before fatal crash near Colorado border; cause remains unknown

The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report Wednesday on a plane crash in Grand County that destroyed the plane and killed two people as it spiraled from the sky.

8 hours ago

Police respond to a deadly shooting in Bountiful. (John Wilson, KSL TV)...

Josh Ellis

One man dead after shooting in Bountiful

Bountiful police say one man was shot and killed early Thursday morning. No arrests have been made in connection to the shooting.

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Man accused of murdering teenage couple had extensive criminal history