Family of couple killed, dumped in mine want death penalty for suspect

Apr 26, 2018, 1:01 PM | Updated: Apr 27, 2018, 12:12 am

PROVO, Utah – Jerrod Baum’s feet and hands were shackled as he made another court appearance in Provo Thursday morning. Baum is accused of kidnapping and killing Eureka couple Breezy Otteson, 17, and Riley Powell, 18.

Jerrod William Baum, Utah County Sheriff’s Office

Thursday’s court proceeding took only 3 and a half minutes. Baum’s lawyer asked to waive the preliminary hearing and schedule a waiver hearing in three to four months. A date was set for August 1st.

The speediness of Thursday’s court appearance does not mean it’s going to be a fast trial. It means just the opposite.

“You watch TV and you watch law and order and these things happen in forty minutes or whatever, but in reality these types of cases take some time,” said Utah County District Attorney Chad Gruander.

Family members of the victims say they’re prepared to be present in court no matter how long the case drags on. “Just going day by day,” said Nikka Powell, Riley’s 17-year-old sister.

Gruander says this case could take even more time to prosecute because capital punishment is on the table. Gruander is looking into several factors to decide if the state wants to pursue the death penalty, including speaking with the victims’ families. Those at court Thursday said they are on board.

“He took my brother’s life why not take his?” said Nikka Powell.

Riley Powell would have turned 19 years old on Saturday. “I wish he was here to celebrate with us,” Nikka said. Family members of both Riley and Breezy are throwing him a birthday party on Saturday in Eureka. They have invited members of the the public.

“We continue to keep their, the thought of them alive and their story alive with who they are and not what happens to them,” said Breezy’s aunt Amanda Hunt.

Photo of Brelynne “Breezy” Otteson at her funeral in Eureka, Utah on April 7, 2018. Photo: Alex Cabrero

Photo of Riley Powell at his funeral in Eureka, Utah on April 7, 2108. Photo: Alex Cabrero

The bodies of Breezy and Riley were found in an abandoned mine shaft in March. They had been missing since late December 2017. Baum is charged with two counts of aggravated murder, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of abuse or desecration of a body, plus possession of a weapon by a restricted person. His attorney declined to speak with reporters Thursday.

KSL 5 TV Live


Las Vegas police stand near the scene of a shooting at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Thursda...

Elizabeth Wolfe, Taylor Romine, Jay Croft and Alaa Elassar, CNN

‘Target list,’ ammo and conspiracy theories: Authorities reveal details on gunman who killed 3 UNLV faculty members

The 67-year-old career college professor who fatally shot three faculty members this week at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, kept a “target list” of faculty at the school and elsewhere, said authorities searching for a motive.

8 hours ago

FILE - President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, leaves after a court appearance, July 26, 2023, in ...

Lindsay Whitehurst, Associated Press

Hunter Biden is indicted on 9 tax charges, adding to gun charges

Hunter Biden has been indicted on tax charges in California as a special counsel investigation into the business dealings of President Joe Biden’s son intensifies against the backdrop of the 2024 election.

13 hours ago

A University of Nevada, Las Vegas, student talks on his cellphone after a shooting reported on camp...

Dan Rascon and Michael Houck, KSL TV

Nervous UNLV students return to campus after fatal shooting

UNLV students and teachers describe the terrifying moments of the mass shooting that killed three faculty members on Wednesday.

1 day ago

A vigil was held on Dec. 7, 2023 for the 435 Utahns killed by guns in 2023. The group running the v...

Alex Cabrero

Sandy vigil honors 435 Utahns killed by guns in 2023

A vigil held on Dec. 7, 2023 honored the lives lost of 435 Utahns killed by guns in 2023.

1 day ago

A training video of an active shooter scenario produced by the University of Utah for students, sta...

Marjorie Cortez, Deseret News

How have University of Utah police prepared for an attack like the one at UNLV?

The University of Utah is prepared for an active aggressor event, like the one that occurred on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus.

1 day ago

A man already accused of killing another man in a Salt Lake parking lot has now been linked to a do...

Pat Reavy,

Salt Lake murder suspect tied to second downtown shooting, police say

A Salt Lake murder suspect already in custody was tied to a second downtown shooting that injured one person in June.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

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.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

Family of couple killed, dumped in mine want death penalty for suspect