Jury finds Martin Bond guilty of killing BYU professor

Published: Friday, Jan. 18 2013 10:57 p.m. MST

Martin Bond listens to testimony given on the first day of his trial in 4th District Court in American Fork Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013. Bond is accused of killing former BYU professor Kay Mortensen in November 2009.

Mark Johnston,

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AMERICAN FORK — A jury found Martin Bond guilty of killing a BYU professor during a robbery.

The verdict was announced about 10:35 p.m. Friday after five hours of deliberation.

Bond, 25, is one of the men accused of killing Kay Mortensen, a BYU professor, in November 2009. He was found guilty on all counts — single counts of aggravated murder, aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary, and three counts of aggravated kidnapping, all first-degree felonies.

Bond will serve life in prison without parole. He will not face the death penalty.

As family and friends of Mortensen left the courtroom Friday, tensions were high as they waited for a verdict after the three-day trial. His widow was optimistic Bond would be found guilty of killing her husband.

"I was discouraged (Thursday) and felt terrible about Ben Rettig's testimony that he wouldn't testify, but (Friday) it was good to have him come in," Darla Mortensen said.

The prosecution's case hit a roadblock Thursday when Rettig, who took a plea deal in the case, refused to testify. Prosecutors gave him immunity Friday as far as any new charges related to the case, but Rettig remained silent over concern of possible federal firearms charges or being labeled a snitch in prison.

Even without Rettig's testimony, prosecutors said prior to the verdict they believed they proved their case.

"It's a tough case, but I think the information that we were able to bring into evidence clearly showed that Martin Bond actually killed Kay Mortensen himself or he was there and he assisted," Taylor said.

E-mail: spenrod@ksl.com

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