UTAH COUNTY, Utah — Nearly two months after Jerrod Baum was found guilty in murdering two Utah teenagers in 2017 and disposing of their bodies in a Eureka mine, he was given four life sentences without the possibility of parole.
In April, Baum was found guilty on two counts apiece of aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping and abuse of desecration of a human body in the deaths of 17-year-old Breezy Otteson and 18-year-old Riley Powell.
Otteson and Powell disappeared in Juab County on Dec. 30, 2017 and were reported missing days later.
The sentence came after emotional statements from the victim's families, as well as Baum's final statement in his own defense.
"Evil does not win, love wins," said Amanda Davis, Otteson's aunt. "Mister Baum will not get to go down in history and infamy, for being on death row mister baum will finally and silently waste away never victimizing anyone outside of prison walls again."
“I am sorry that those youngsters got killed, got murdered, I would’nt done it, I would not have done that, they were no threat,” Baum said in part.
In 2021, Utah County Attorney David Leavitt announced his office would no longer seek the death penalty in any case.
The announcement meant that the death penalty was taken off the table when Baum's case went to trial.
When it was announced Baum would not face the death penalty, the families of Breezy and Riley were shocked. They still wish Baum was facing the death penalty.
"I miss Riley and Breezy dearly and was really hoping for the death penalty for this monster that killed two innocent kids," said Nikka Powell, Powell's sister. "But since that has been taken from us that monster Jerrod Baum deserves four counts of life without parol.”
“Jerrod does not belong in society everybody knows that," said Bill Powell, Riley's father. "He’s a threat to everybody in the prison system and he’s a threat to anybody he comes into contact with and he needs to be locked up and put away.”