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Rettig sentenced to 25 years for killing BYU professor

By Emiley Morgan | Posted - Dec 13th, 2011 @ 5:43pm


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AMERICAN FORK — Benjamin Rettig looked a young 24 years old Tuesday, the day he was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

Before 4th District Judge Thomas Low handed down the sentence for two counts of aggravated murder and aggravated kidnapping, both first-degree felonies, in the slaying of former BYU professor Kay Mortensen, Rettig, his cheeks rosy and his hair curly, cried as his mother — after speaking to the judge — turned to her son and said: "I speak for everyone in our family when I say we love you very much."

But members of Mortensen's family said their ties have strained and snapped in the time since their father, brother and husband was found in the bathroom of his Payson home on Nov. 16, 2009, kneeling over the bathtub with his throat slit.

"Our family was left with a gaping hole," Mortensen's sister, Fern, said. "Irreparable damage was done and will never be repaired."

Roger Mortensen, Kay Mortensen's son, who along with his wife, Pamela, was originally charged in the slaying, said: "It's been a terrible experience."


Our family was left with a gaping hole. Irreparable damage was done and will never be repaired.

–Fern Mortensen


He questioned why Rettig didn't stop Martin Bond from killing Kay Mortensen and why he didn't speak after Roger Mortensen and his wife were arrested.

"He stood by as me and my wife were falsely accused and incarcerated," he said. "He set in motion a horrible chain of events that can never be repaired. ... I hope he is in prison for the rest of his entire life."

Rettig pleaded guilty to the two counts in June as part of a deal that removed the possibility of the death penalty and set the 25-years-to-life sentence. Rettig also agreed to help prosecutors in their case against Bond.

Prosecutors have filed notice that they will seek the death penalty against Bond. A trial date for Oct. 9, 2012, was set Tuesday for Bond's case.

Rettig later stated his intention to attempt to withdraw his plea, but changed his mind and proceeded with sentencing.

Email: emorgan@ksl.com

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