Jury deciding fate of Jerrod Baum continues deliberations

Posted at 5:35 PM, Apr 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-15 07:42:37-04

PROVO, Utah — A full day after closing statements ended, the jury deciding the fate of accused murderer Jerrod Baum ended deliberations Thursday.

The families of both victims Riley Powell and Breezy Otteson said they want the jury to take their time, but added that today would have been the perfect day to see Baum convicted as Thursday marked the four-year anniversary of the last funeral of the two teens.

“It is nerve-wracking, I’m not going to lie, but all we can do is sit and wait and hope for the best,” said Otteson’s aunt, Amanda Davis.

Baum faces multiple charges, including aggravated murder and aggravated kidnapping.

"So these eight people are approaching 40 days on this case, I imagine they want to get it right, but I also imagine they’re pretty tired now. And I’m hoping, like jurors usually do, they take their responsibility very seriously," explained criminal defense attorney Jesse Nix.

Nix is not involved in the Baum case but said it could be a while for the jury to sift through all the charges and discuss the weeks of evidence and testimony that were read and seen during the trial.

"There’s a lot of evidence that they have to weigh through," said Davis. "They have to talk about all eight counts of charges, so it's not a simple cut-and-dry guilty or not guilty."

Ever since the trial began back in March, Davis and Riley’s dad, Bill Powell, have spent every day in court hearing the gruesome details of the last moments of their loved ones.

“We learned a lot more than what we knew,” said Powell. “Cause they wouldn’t tell us a lot.”

“It’s been tough,” said Davis. “It’s been emotionally exhausting, physically exhausting and we’re ready for it to be over.”

On Wednesday, attorneys shared hours of closing arguments, hoping to sway the jury one final time.

“[Prosecutors] spoke the truth and got down to the nitty-gritty,” said Powell. “The defense team, in my feeling, was a little wishy-washy.”

The jury will continue deliberations Friday.