Murder defendant’s girlfriend pleads guilty to obstruction
PROVO, Utah (AP) — The girlfriend of a man accused of killing a teenage couple cried Friday while listening to relatives of the victims in a Provo. Utah, courtroom where she pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and was sentenced to jail and probation.
The Daily Herald reported that 35-year-old Morgan Henderson of Mammoth will serve three years in jail or until authorities resolve the pending murder case against 41-year-old Jerrod Baum.
Henderson was also sentenced to five years of probation.
Baum awaits trial in the killings of 18-year-old Riley Powell and 17-year-old Brelynne “Breezy” Otteson in December. He’s accused of throwing their bodies in an abandoned mine shaft.
Court documents allege he acted out of jealousy.
None of his attorneys at the Utah County public defender’s office were immediately available for comment Friday.
Henderson initially denied knowing about the long-missing teens’ whereabouts, but after her March 24 arrest on drug and weapons charges she told police where the bodies were dumped.
Henderson cried as she sat in the courtroom’s jury box listening to statements from the family members.
“There are no words to describe the way that I feel,” said Amanda Hunt, Otteson’s aunt, as she brushed away her own tears. “Morgan deprived us of the closure we desperately needed and wanted.”
Henderson pleaded guilty to 10 counts of felony obstruction of justice. An additional 20 counts were dismissed under a plea deal with prosecutors.
Henderson agreed to cooperate in the continuing investigation and the court case against Baum.
Powell’s father, Bill Powell, and his younger sister, Nikka Powell, 18, agreed they were not going to give up in pursuing justice against Baum.
“We’ve got a long road ahead of us, and so we have to keep plugging along and get it done, no matter how long it takes,” Bill Powell said.