CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Evidence uncovered in murder probe leads to child porn charges for suspect

Mar 7, 2022, 5:00 AM | Updated: 11:05 am

jerrod baum child porn charges...

FILE: Jerrod Baum appears for a hearing in Provo on Thursday, April 26, 2018. Baum is accused of killing two people and leaving their bodies in an abandoned mine. Photo: Rick Egan, Deseret News.

PROVO, Utah — Evidence uncovered as part of the investigation into the disappearance and murder of two Utah teens now means the suspect in that case, due to begin trial Monday, will also face charges related to child porn. 

Prosecutors filed charges of sexual exploitation of a minor against Jerrod Baum in January. Those charges came separately from the capital murder case for which he stands trial this week. 

In all, Baum faces six felony counts related to the discovery of child pornography on a cell phone deputies found during a search of his residence after the disappearance of Riley Powell and Breezey Otteson in early 2018. 

Child porn leads to more charges for murder suspect

Search warrant affidavits filed with Fourth District Court, which covers Utah County, show sheriff’s deputies found as many as five phones at Baum’s residence in January 2018. Later that year, a Utah County crime lab technician alerted investigators that one of the phones appeared to contain child porn. 

Investigators describe the phone as containing images of young teens or tweens, not Otteson or Powell, apparently around the ages of 13 or 14 years old, engaged in sex acts. In one image, two boys appeared to hold down a girl while performing sex acts. 

Charging documents identify the phone as belonging to Baum. 

Baum already had an initial appearance on the charges in Provo District Court in January. He’s scheduled for a preliminary hearing in the child porn case on March 22.

Even if Baum is convicted of the crimes, he likely won’t see the death penalty. Utah County’s attorney, David Leavitt, was one of four Utah district attorneys who said they would no longer seek the death penalty in any case

A bill to repeal the death penalty in the state failed during the 2022 general session of the legislature.

Related stories: 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Crime, Police + Courts

Salt Lake City Police Department is looking into the death of two people who were killed in a workp...

Mark Jackson

Two men dead in Salt Lake workplace shooting

One man was found inside the building, another outside. Police don’t believe there’s an imminent threat.

3 hours ago

Former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Scot Peterson shown, a school arming school staff is aw...

Curt Gresseth

Utah lawmaker discusses arming school workers

Arming school workers will lead to safer schools, says a Utah lawmaker whose bill awaits the governor's pen to become law.

2 days ago

Bountiful police car...

JOSH ELLIS KSLTV.com

One man dead after shooting in Bountiful

Officers in Bountiful arrived on the scene and found a man in his 20s with a gunshot wound. The man later died at the hospital.

4 days ago

execution chamber in idaho prison...

Associated Press

Idaho halts execution by lethal injection after 8 failed attempts to insert IV line

Thomas Eugene Creech Creech, one of the longest-serving death row inmates in the U.S., was wheeled into the execution chamber at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution on a gurney at 10 a.m.

4 days ago

Ruby Franke stands with her attorney, Lamar Winward, at her sentencing on Tuesday. Her brother and ...

Jessica Lowell

Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt transferred to Utah State Correctional Facility

The two women will each spend one to 15 years at the facility for child abuse.

4 days ago

Ruby Franke appears in a virtual court appearance....

Adam Small

Utah legislators hear from Kevin Franke on life coach regulation

Lawmakers hear from Kevin Franke about regulating life coaches. His ex-wife Ruby Franke and her partner Jodi Hildebrandt are in prison.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Evidence uncovered in murder probe leads to child porn charges for suspect