AMERICAN FORK -- The fate of Martin Bond has been turned over to a jury.
Attorneys in the case made their closing arguments Friday evening after two and a half days of testimony in the murder case. The jury began deliberating at about 5:30 p.m.
Prosecutor Tim Taylor said there should be no doubt that Bond killed Kay Mortensen.
"This plan didn't happen with Ben Rettig. Ben Rettig is at work at Wingers, Martin called him multiple times," Taylor said. "Ben Rettig didn't plan this thing. We have a man here that is extremely intelligent, extremely careful, there was intense planning here. There were no fibers, no blood."
Taylor said it was Bond who brought the zip ties, Bond who brought the latex gloves, Bond who brought the gun.
Notes that had been passed between Bond and an inmate at the Utah County Jail were read out loud during Bond's murder trial Friday morning.
In those notes, Bond discussed his involvement in Kay Mortensen's murder with the inmate, who testified on Thursday and received a plea deal from the state in exchange for his testimony. Bond was asked why he was blaming his co-defendant, Benjamin Rettig, who pleaded guilty to murder and kidnapping in December 2011. Bond said Rettig made the situation worse and said, "When Kay and I tried to talk to him he threatened me and a bunch of other s
happened. It came to the point he was going to kill him but made me instead. He wanted me to have as much to lose, either that or he would shoot me, that is why his throat was cut, he wouldn't give me the gun."
Bond also said he thought Kay was suffering, which is why he stabbed him in the back of the neck. The notes also mentioned that Rettig wanted to kill Roger and Pamela Mortensen, but Bond was able to talk him out of it.
In the notes Bond also wrote, "I told the cops and my attorneys something else, if I changed now they will assume everything is a lie. I lost my kid and killed a friend to save my ass. I feel like I deserve the worst anyways."
Defense attorney Rudy Bautista said that what was contained in the notes passed by Bond to another inmate are true: that Bond did kill Mortensen, but that he was forced to do so by Rettig.
"It wasn't the plan. It got out of whack when Ben pulled out the gun for no reason and made that situation a million times worse," Bautista said. "We have a young man forced to make a decision in a split notice and he made bad choices. The law provides if you are forced, commanded, if your life is threatened that is a defense to that crime."
Taylor said that defense isn't available to Bond because he knowing put himself in a situation that could end badly.
"This was the perfect crime and it almost was the perfect crime," Taylor said. "We did put two innocent people in jail. Please don't let the man who actually did this get away with it."
This morning the prosecutors offered immunity to Rettig, who was supposed to testify Thursday but refused. They told Rettig that nothing he said in court Friday would be used against him for any further criminal procedures. Despite the immunity Rettig invoked his right against self-incrimination noting that he was worried about federal prosecution rather than state prosecution.
Following Rettig's testimony, defense attorney Stephen Howard introduced a motion for a mistrial, a motion to strike Rettig's testimony from the record and a motion for a directed verdict. Howard argued that jurors could hear Rettig's testimony, during which he repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment right, and infer that his testimony was contrary to Bond's and could be harmful to Bond. Howard said because Rettig admitted that he was afraid of Bond it would imply that his testimony did not agree with Bond's and that implication could change a jury's decision.
Fourth District Judge Thomas Low denied the motion for a mistrial and said the jury could be instructed that no implications could be taken from Rettig's refusal to testify. He also denied the motion for a directed verdict, saying there is sufficient evidence for a jury to come to a conclusion on all the charges. The decision about striking Rettig's testimony will be decided after a lunch break.
A state medical examiner also testified Friday morning about the wounds Kay Mortensen received. He said the cause of death was blood loss from wounds to the back and neck, and he ruled the death a homicide.
Check back for updates on this story.