NewsLocal News


Utah prosecutor committed ethics violations in homicide case, judge rules

Posted at 3:48 PM, Jan 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-10 19:42:05-05

PROVO, Utah — A judge found that Utah County Attorney David Leavitt made an ethics violation in a double-homicide case, but nothing is going to change.

WATCH: Utah County Attorney accused of dismissing his friend and donor's criminal stalking case

The ruling has to do with the deaths of Breezy Otteson and Riley Powell, whose bodies were found in an abandonded mine.

During a news conference in 2018, Leavitt described the suspect, Jerrod Baum, as having treated the victims’ like “garbage” or “trash.” In a ruling Monday, a state judge said those remarks broke ethics designed to ensure a fair trial.

But after those statements, Leavitt agreed to let his deputies handle the case, and the judge had earlier ruled the pool would be expanded to ensure impartial jurors.

The judge also said Leavitt’s office committed an ethics violation by not stopping a Utah County sheriff’s sergeant from giving a radio interview.

Baum has pleaded not guilty. His trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 23 in Provo.