AMERICAN FORK -- Late Friday night a jury found Martin Bond guilty of aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary and three counts of aggravated kidnapping -- all first-degree felonies -- for the events of Nov. 16, 2009, when Kay Mortensen's throat was slit, his Payson Canyon home burglarized and his son and daughter-in-law tied up and held hostage.
The jury deliberated for nearly five hours.
Family members of Mortensen cried as the verdict was read just before 11 on Friday night but Bond showed very little emotion.
Prosecutors originally charged Mortensen's son Roger and daughter-in-law Pamela with the killing.
In a prepared statement Pamela Mortensen said she and Roger are happy that the truth has finally come out.
"This verdict has been a long time coming," she said. She thanked witnesses who testified for telling the truth and family and friends for their support.
"We want to thank Peter Smith and Rachel Bingham for doing right and coming forward," she said. "Without them Kay Mortensen's murder would've gone unsolved and worse Roger and I could have been in prison for a crime not only we did not commit but one in which we were victims."
Darla Mortensen, Kay's widow, said that she doesn't feel victorious but that she is happy for it to be over.
As part of a deal made last November to take the death sentence off the table Bond and his attorneys agreed that he would be sentenced to life without parole if convicted on the aggravated murder charge.
"We think the jury did a good job and we think they reached the right verdict," prosecutor Tim Taylor said. "We are glad for the family that they can finally put this past them as much as they can."
Taylor said that he has apologized personally to Pamela and Roger Mortensen for the mistakes they made but said that without arresting the wrong people for the crime the right one may have never been discovered.
Bond's co-defendant Benjamin Rettig pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and aggravated kidnapping in December 2011 as part of a plea deal, in exchange for his testimony against Bond. Rettig refused to testify during the trial and invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination, saying he was concerned about federal charges.
Defense attorney Rudy Bautista, said that they will be filing an appeal in the case but have yet to decide whether to ask for a retrial or a dismissal with prejudice, meaning the case couldn’t be retried.
He said that bringing Rettig in to testify and having him invoke his Fifth Amendment rights over and over again in front of the jury violated Bond’s right to a fair trial.
“When someone takes the stand and invokes the Fifth it implies that they have something incriminating to say and in Bond’s case it implies that he is guilty as well and that should not have been heard before the jury,” Bautista said.
Bautista said that they felt the facts against Bond were heavily stacked and after Rettig’s refusal to testify in front of the jury they anticipated the guilty verdicts. He said they will appeal all six counts.
Bond will be sentenced on March 5. Rettig was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.