PROVO — A choose threw the ebook at convicted killer Jerrod Baum on Thursday, ordering him to provide 4 consecutive phrases of life in jail without the risk of parole for the brutal kidnappings and murders of a younger Utah pair in late 2017.
Brelynne “Breezy” Otteson, 17, and Riley Powell, 18, were originally reported missing in late 2017 and family members, pals and officers searched for them for months just before their bodies were located inside of the Tintic Typical Mine outdoors Eureka, Juab County.
Fourth District Decide Derek P. Pullan chastised Baum, declaring he “slaughtered the two harmless adolescents to mend his bruised moi,” and identified as the killings a “narcissistic brutal act of cowardice.”
Pullan explained in his 20 decades as a choose, the murders were “the most violent, the most selfish, the most senseless, the most disturbing that I have ever witnessed.”
He encouraged Baum to recall that the privileges of waking up, sleeping and going for walks are issues that the victims do not have, and questioned him to bear in mind that his life in jail is equally just and merciful.
“In permitting for a life sentence, without having probability of parole, the legislation exhibits extra mercy to the defendant than he confirmed to Riley and Brelynne,” Pullan stated.
But Baum, 45, amazed quite a few in the courtroom when he denied murdering the two as he spoke to the choose ahead of his sentence was imposed.
“I am not a monster. I do not destroy folks,” Baum mentioned. “I did not eliminate these people today, Riley and Brelynne. I would not have a purpose to.”
Baum claimed he was an “simple mark” to blame for the crimes. “It is really not the to start with time that it truly is occurred, but it was less complicated to do … position the finger at this dude and say he did it,” he said.
Baum reported he hopes the people will get peace from his sentence, but that he does not imagine they will.
Baum specifically responded to multiple responses from family members and prosecutors, specially Powell’s sister, Nikka Powell, who earlier in the hearing identified as Baum “a monster” numerous periods as she tackled the judge Thursday, saying Baum has shown no remorse for his awful crimes. “That monster … actually justifies loss of life,” she claimed.
Heidi Nestel, with Utah Crime Victim’s Lawful Clinic, explained Baum needed to incite anxiety in the two teenagers before killing them, and questioned the court to consider into account the family’s statements in the sentence.
“At this instant he can take no morsel of accountability, no shred of regret or feelings for these victims or the loved ones. It really is practically unfathomable,” Nestel reported.
Amanda Davis, Otteson’s aunt, said she was shocked to listen to Baum communicate and was still processing his remarks. She reported his way of manipulation has matured and she thinks Baum was talking from “one ounce of guilt” which permitted him to audio sincere. She stated he created the decision to murder the two young adults.
“Jerrod Baum shocked all of us as he callously and egotistically tried to give his condolences to our households, denying killing them, and attempted to make clear his disgusting steps. We noticed by means of him, we noticed by way of his lies,” the people mentioned in a statement on Friday.
Davis stated that listening to the judge’s terms about Baum was a great experience, despite the fact that she stated she would not know if the sentence will ever convey peace for her.
“He validated anything that we went by, and what (Powell and Otteson) went via,” she reported.
At the trial, Morgan Lewis, Baum’s girlfriend at the time, described witnessing the two murders firsthand. She said Baum continuously punched a bound Powell right before stabbing him several periods. Prosecutors say he then slit Otteson’s throat and threw both equally their bodies down the mine shaft. Lewis conversing to law enforcement was influential in investigators ultimately getting the couple’s bodies.
After a trial that lasted above a month, and a lot more than 18 hours of jury deliberation, jurors decided on April 15 that Baum was responsible of all of the counts towards him.
Baum was sentenced to 4 consecutive sentences of everyday living with out parole for two counts of aggravated murder, a initially-diploma felony, and two counts of aggravated kidnapping with serious bodily harm, a to start with-diploma felony. He was also ordered to serve concurrent sentences of zero to 5 yrs in jail for two counts of abuse or desecration of a useless human body, a 3rd-diploma felony, and 1 to 15 a long time in jail for obstructing justice, a 2nd-degree felony.
Lewis testified that she had invited Powell and Otteson to her property that night due to the fact Baum was supposed to be keeping with a loved ones member. She explained Baum didn’t want her to have persons over when he was not all over. But Baum came residence following the younger few experienced still left and she later discovered they had been tied up in the again of Powell’s Jeep. Lewis claimed she and Powell had previously been romantic whilst Baum was in jail on an unrelated demand and testified that just in advance of stabbing Powell, Baum requested him if he experienced slept with Lewis.
Deputy Utah County lawyer Ryan McBride mentioned Baum shot his very first individual when he was just 8 years previous. “His daily life proceeded in a very similar mother nature for the relaxation of his life,” he stated.
The prosecutor explained many years of crimes that Baum dedicated, like thefts, burglaries, robberies and other crimes and explained guns were included in most of the crimes. He explained a 1993 diagnostic report that observed there was no therapy for Baum’s situation due to the fact he felt no remorse for his crimes.
“Mr. Baum freely admits that he likes viewing himself as a tremendous legal and he likes the sensation of electrical power” when he hurts people today, McBride stated, adding that the analyst mentioned Baum could not supply a solitary example exactly where emotion guilt or remorse experienced at any time altered his actions in any way.
McBride described all of the tattoos related with white supremacists and other hate teams that are all over Baum’s human body and a tattoo that spells out “pure despise” on the fingers of his two hands. He said even though in prison in 1994, Baum manufactured a shank that was applied by death row inmate and white supremacist Troy Kell to brutally murder fellow inmate Lonnie Blackmon, a Black gentleman, at the condition jail in Gunnison, and Baum yelled encouragement even though that murder happened.
“The defendant’s lifetime is a monument to loathe and violence,” McBride mentioned.
The judge explained prior to giving his sentence that these tattoos are proof of what is significant to Baum, and claimed that though Baum claimed that he has transformed, phone calls in the jail demonstrate that he has not.
Protection lawyer Dallas Young said the cards have been stacked in opposition to Baum, citing household concerns when he was young, describing him as a “complete outcast” in school and somebody who was set into the grownup system when he was just 15 yrs outdated. That was when a white supremacist took him under his wings. But Young said Baum has disavowed all those sights and is no for a longer period related with any gang.
To begin with, prosecutors declared they would request the loss of life penalty for Baum, but Utah County Lawyer David Leavitt afterwards altered his head and withdrew his intent to search for the loss of life penalty against the wishes of the victims’ families. Leavitt also introduced he will not request the death penalty in any foreseeable future situation, expressing that the costs of searching for money punishment outweigh any added benefits to the neighborhood.
Amanda Davis, Otteson’s aunt, informed the judge that her family was “robbed” and “victimized” by Leavitt “by ripping that constitutional right from us only months prior to trial.” 3 other household associates of the victims manufactured related statements, right mentioning Leavitt by identify, declaring he took absent their rights to have Baum be most likely despatched to loss of life row.
She reported that the activities of this circumstance ended up “just a discipline journey for Baum” who has expended all but two yrs of his adult life in prison. She mentioned a sentence of existence in jail is like going home for him.
“In some means, I pity Mr. Baum,” Davis mentioned. “Mr. Baum was born evil. But evil does not win. Love wins.”
She claimed the reaction to the scenario from the group reveals the price of the lives of Otteson and Powell and is an example of love successful in this scenario. Davis hopes that Baum will turn into a neglected, distant memory.