AMERICAN FORK -- A 25-year-old man has been convicted of aggravated murder and other charges in the 2009 slaying of a retired Brigham Young University professor during a home-invasion robbery.
A jury in 4th District Court deliberated nearly five hours before reaching the verdict late Friday night against Martin Bond in the death of 70-year-old Kay Mortensen.
Bond and Benjamin Rittig, 24, were accused of slitting Mortensen's throat after breaking into his Payson-area home to steal guns.
As part of a plea deal, Bond agreed to be sentenced to life without parole if found guilty of aggravated murder. He awaits formal sentencing March 5.
Mortensen's son, Roger, and daughter-in-law, Pamela Mortensen, originally were charged with the killing and held in jail for about five months before Bond's ex-wife stepped forward to implicate the two Vernal-area men in the crime.
Roger and Pamela Mortensen say they arrived at Kay Mortensen's home during the November 2009 robbery.
A federal judge last year dismissed their lawsuit claiming they were wrongfully arrested after the real suspects tied them up and fled. They say a grand jury indictment hurt their finances, employment and relationships with family and friends.
"We are finally glad that the truth has come out that Roger and I were victims in this crime," Pamela Mortensen told The Salt Lake Tribune.
Defense attorneys said the verdict would be appealed. During closing arguments, they claimed Bond should be acquitted of aggravated murder because he was coerced by Rettig to kill the retired engineering professor.
Rettig was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison in December.
Prosecutors said Bond killed Kay Mortensen because the victim knew him.
"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," Deputy Utah County Attorney Tim Taylor told KSL.