Trial begins for suspect in BYU professor’s murder

Posted at 6:45 PM, Jan 16, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-16 20:45:56-05

AMERICAN FORK – Attorneys began opening arguments in the trial for accused killer Martin Bond on Wednesday.

Bond is charged with the 2009 murder of retired BYU professor Kay Mortensen.

Prosecutors said he and an accomplice forced their way into Mortensen’s home on November 19, 2009, stole guns, and killed Mortensen by slitting his throat.

Mortensen’s son and daughter-in-law stumbled upon the crime. Pam Mortensen testified Wednesday and said Bond tied them up and held them at gunpoint.

“I did not know if I was going to make it out of the house that night,” Mortensen said. “We were terrified.”

Mortensen said Bond threatened them with their lives unless they told police three black men committed the crime.

“[We were] torn between telling the story we were told and telling the truth,” Mortensen said.

Inconsistencies in the couple’s stories led police to arrest them for the murder. It was a tip from Bond’s ex-wife that exonerated Mortensen and her husband and pointed toward Bond and his friend, Benjamin Rettig.

During opening arguments Utah County Prosecutor Tim Taylor told the jury Bond was the real murderer.

“We arrested the wrong people, we accused the wrong people, we made a mistake,” Taylor said. “But we got it right this time; there is no doubt about that."

Rettig is scheduled to testify against Bond Thursday morning. In a deal with prosecutors, Rettig pleaded guilty and is currently serving 25 years to life in the Utah State Prison.

If convicted, Bond faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.