Juab County Man Pleads Not Guilty To Killing Breezy And Riley

Jun 10, 2019, 7:00 PM | Updated: 7:02 pm

PROVO, Utah — A Juab County man charged with murdering two teens in late 2017, has pleaded not guilty to the charges. Jerrod Baum was arraigned in Fourth District Court on Monday and could face the death penalty.

Today’s arraignment was the latest step, in what has already been a long road for the families of Breezy Otteson and Riley Powell – the arraignment of Jerrod Baum, who is accused of killing them.

Breezy Otteson and Riley Powell

“We knew there was no way and no chance that he was going to plead guilty, he is going to drag it out,” said Amanda Hunt, Breezy’s aunt.

The not guilty plea, sets up what could be a trial and penalty phase, that could lead to the death penalty.

Baum is accused of kidnapping the teens and after killing them, dumping their bodies down an abandoned mine shaft, outside of Eureka.

They were missing for months, until Baum’s girlfriend led police to the scene of the crime.

Utah County attorney David Leavitt says the elements are all there for prosecutors to seek the death penalty against Baum and it is now under serious discussion.  “The police, the prosecution team, and the families they will be very much a part of this whole decision on whether to seek the death penalty.  In the end, the decision whether to death penalty rests with me, but everyone will be included in that process,” Leavitt said.

The families say they want the death penalty pursued.

“They didn’t have a choice and they were prisoners and brutally murdered so he deserves the same,” said Bill Powell, Riley’s father.
By state law, the county attorney has 60 days from today to decide whether he will seek the death penalty.  Leavitt says he expects to make a decision by the end of July.

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Juab County Man Pleads Not Guilty To Killing Breezy And Riley