PROVO - A man already serving prison time for murder will now stand trial for obstruction of justice for refusing to testify as part of his plea deal.
Benjamin Rettig pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and aggravated kidnapping in June 2011 for the murder of Kay Mortensen in 2009. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dropped charges of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated burglary and agreed to request a 25-year prison sentence with the possibility of parole, rather than the death penalty. Rettig also agreed to testify against Martin Bond, who was also charged with murder in the case. But when Bond stood trial in January 2013, Rettig refused to testify. Despite being ordered to testify multiple times by 4th District Judge Thomas Low and being offered immunity once again, Rettig refused to testify.
Rettig was charged with obstruction of justice in July 2013 for refusing to testify at the trial and was bound over for trial last fall, but the case was on hold after several appeals by Rettig's defense attorney.
An interlocutory appeal to the Utah Court of Appeals has now been denied and a trial date scheduled for the 26-year-old.
Rettig will stand trial for the second-degree felony charge on April 21 and 22. Rettig could potentially face a one to 15 year sentence in prison, on top of his 25-year-to-life sentence, if convicted on the obstruction charge.
Rettig is also in the process of appealing his sentence in the murder case. That appeal has been sent to the Utah Supreme Court.