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Families of Eureka teens want accused killer to face death penalty

Posted at 6:01 PM, Jul 24, 2019

PROVO, Utah -- In one week, the man who's charged with murdering two Eureka teens and dumping their bodies into an abandoned mine will learn if he'll face the death penalty.

After Jerrod Baum pleaded not guilty on June 10, the clock started ticking for Utah County Attorney David Leavitt. He has 60 days to decide whether to seek the death penalty.

However, the families of Breezy Otteson and Riley Powell said they made up their minds a long time ago.

Otteson's aunt, Amanda Hunt, said she's still not sure what the Utah County Attorney will decide when it comes to the death penalty.

“There`s a lot of anxiety towards what`s going to happen. I think he`s torn. I think he`s torn on what decision he is to make and it`s a big decision to make. Both sides of it. Politically and personally,” Hunt said.

When the family met with him, they were clear about what they want.

“Being locked up, he`s been locked up. That`s what he likes,” Hunt said.

Calling Baum a career criminal, Hunt said he had his chance at rehabilitation.

“He`s been locked up...since he was 15. So, over half his life he`s been locked up so clearly institutionalizing him is not the answer,” said Hunt.

Police said he murdered Otteson and her boyfriend Riley Powell, throwing their bodies in an abandoned mine shaft. Prosecutors said Baum was angry because the couple had been visiting with his girlfriend.

“With the death penalty at least we know that one day his life will be taken from him for what he did in taking the kids` lives,” Hunt said.

Hunt said a death sentence will finally send Baum a message.

“Being on death row, you don`t get the luxuries that you get in general population. At least he can be isolated. He can then not have what he wants,” said Hunt.

Due to debate over the death penalty, Hunt started a poll on the Justice for Breezy and Riley Facebook page.

“There was a concern with a lack of support for the death penalty. The intent behind the poll was to get a gauge and see what people`s opinions were,” said Hunt.

Hoping a display of public support will gently push Leavitt to their side.

“Whatever decision is made, we`re going to support it. We may not like it,” Hunt said.

Leavitt has a press conference scheduled on July 31 to announce his decision.