Murdered BYU professor’s killer convicted of all charges

Martin Bond looks to members of Kay Mortensen’s family after being found guilty on all charges during day three of his trial at the Fourth Judicial District Court in American Fork, Utah, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013. Bond is accused of killing former BYU professor Kay Mortensen in November 2009. (AP Photo/The Daily Herald, Mark Johnston, Pool)

The last dead leaves were falling from the trees around former BYU professor Kay Mortensen’s home in Payson three weeks after he returned from his LDS senior mission to Cove Fort.

On that day, Nov. 16, 2009, Mortensen was killed in his bathroom in Payson by Martin C. Bond and Benjamin D. Rettig.

His killers were finally brought to justice three years later. On Jan. 18, Bond was convicted of aggravated murder, aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery and three counts of aggravated kidnapping by a jury who deliberated for five hours.

“We’re pleased obviously with the result the jury came back with,” Bond’s prosecuting attorney Tim Taylor said. “I think that when we presented all of our evidence it was very clear that either Martin Bond was the one who actually killed Mortensen or that he participated in assisting Ben in killing Mortensen. Both individuals who participated in this crime have now been found guilty, and hopefully they will be spending the rest of their lives in prison.”

Rettig was sentenced to 25 years to life last December.

Mortensen’s children are relieved, as they were falsely arrested and charged with the murder of their father. Roger Mortensen and his wife, Pamela Mortensen, stopped by the night of the murder to deliver a pecan pie and enjoy a night of board games with their dad. They were quickly zip-tied by Bond and Rettig and threatened with death if they told the police what had happened.

Pamela and Roger Mortensen both spent five months in jail as the prime suspects for Mortensen’s murder before Rachel Bingham, Bond’s estranged wife, gave the police a tip about Bond and Rettig.

Both the prosecution and the defense agree Bond and Rettig went to Mortensen’s house to steal weapons from his extensive gun collection. After that, the stories differ.

When asked if Bond or Rettig killed Mortensen, Steven Howard of the defense said, “The evidence that was presented at trial was somewhat conflicted on that issue. In Mr. Bond’s interviews with the police he claimed that Mr. Rettig had done the actual killing, but the prosecution presented evidence in the form of a handwritten note written to a jailmate of Bond’s.” This alleged note claimed Bond had killed Mortensen under the threat of death from Rettig, who had held Bond at gunpoint.

When asked why Mortensen was killed, Howard said. “That’s a hard question to answer. Very rarely is there a good explanation for this sort of thing … there are disputed facts as to whose idea it was … but whoever came up with the plan originally, it appears to be a plan that went horribly wrong.”

Bond’s attorneys plan to appeal all six counts that he was charged with. Bond will be sentenced on March 5.

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