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'It's been long overdue': Families of Riley Powell, Breezy Otteson happy to see Baum verdict

Posted at 8:34 PM, Apr 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-17 00:00:05-04

UTAH COUNTY — The day has finally come for the families of Riley Powell and Breezy Otteson.

“Well, I don’t know if we're allowed to say we’re happy," said Bill Powell, Riley's father. "But we're happy.”

On Friday, a jury ruled that Jerrod Baum had been found guilty on all counts of murdering the two teens in 2017. The jury will be seeking a life sentence without the possibility of parole for Baum; that sentencing is scheduled for June 1.

“It's been a tense four years," said Amanda Davis, Breezy’s aunt. "To hear that verse guilty, it was like a weight lifted. It's been long overdue.”

“This case predates me," said Utah County Attorney David Leavitt. "And it is easily without question the case that has implemented through which we have expended the greatest resources in the history of any case in Utah County."

Both families had sought the death penalty for Baum, but Leavitt took capital punishment off the table a few months ago.

“While a conviction like this will never bring back either Riley or Breezy, I hope that today's guilty verdict will in some measure begin the healing process for the victims," he said.

Davis said if anyone deserves the death penalty, it’s the man who murdered her niece.

“We'd hoped for the death penalty from the day the charges were filed," she said. "These kids were worth that.”