Ex-BYU professor let killers in his home, prosecutors tell jury
It was a 'scary situation,' said daughter-in-law once wrongly charged in the death
AMERICAN FORK — The video showed a home that was largely undisturbed. There were drawers and gun lockers left untouched. None of the doors showed anything to suggest a forced entry.
There was meat on a countertop grill in the kitchen, uncooked but seasoned, said Utah County Sheriff's Lt. Mike Brower. The home did not appear to have been ransacked.
The scene didn't seem to support the reports of a home invasion. It belied the bloody scene in the upstairs bathroom, where Kay Mortensen had been killed.
Wednesday marked the first day of the trial against Martin Cameron Bond, 25, who is charged with aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary and three counts of aggravated kidnapping, all first-degree felonies, in Mortensen's death
Prosecutor Tim Taylor told a jury Wednesday that the reason Mortensen's home looked the way it did is because there wasn't much of a struggle. Mortensen was in the middle of cooking his dinner on Nov. 16, 2009, when he heard a knock at the door. He let the visitor inside his home.
"The reason that Kay let this person into the house is because he knew him," Taylor said. "He knew Martin Bond. Martin Bond had been to his house before. Martin Bond's father and Kay were extremely good friends. Under the guise of friendship, Martin Bond got into the house."
He said Bond let his friend, Benjamin Rettig, into the home. They threatened Mortensen with a gun, and he escorted them to an outside bunker where he kept some of his weapons. Taylor said Mortensen didn't put up a fight, he just opened the door. But before Bond and Rettig took anything, they escorted Mortensen back into his home and into an upstairs bathroom, where they had him kneel on the ground over the bathtub.
Taylor said Bond went to the kitchen and grabbed a knife, returned to the bathroom and repeatedly slashed Mortensen's throat.
"When you hear the facts of his case, it will almost sound like a crime novel at times, but it isn't fiction," Taylor said.
Soon after Mortensen was killed, there was another knock at the door. Roger and Pamela Mortensen had gone to Kay Mortensen's home that same night to deliver a pecan pie.
It was the retired BYU professor's favorite kind, and they knew he and his wife were leaving town the next day, Pamela Mortensen testified Wednesday. When they arrived at his home in Payson Canyon, they saw a car they didn't recognize and figured Mortensen had guests.
They knocked on the door and a 20-something man answered. Pamela Mortensen recalled that her in-laws had discussed problems with the Internet or getting new carpets.
"I just assumed they were working on the Internet or looking at carpet," she said. "They did not have ski masks on, did not look like anybody scary. They looked like regular people. I was not scared nor did I think anything of it."
They were told Kay Mortensen was upstairs. Pamela went for the stairs and the men told her to come back, she said. It was then she realized that one of them — Bond — was holding a gun.
She and her husband were then tied up with zip ties, she testified. The two men took their cellphones and Roger Mortensen's identification.
"It was a very scary situation because I did not know if I was going to make it out of the house that night or if my husband was going to make it out of the house that night," Pamela Mortensen said.
Bond did most of the talking, she said, and seemed to be in charge. But it was Rettig who told them Kay Mortensen was upstairs, also tied up.
Before the men left, she said they told her and her husband to tell police that three black men had been inside the home. They said they had her husband's identification and their address and threatened to come to their home if they told police anything else.
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