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Two arrested in slaying of former BYU professor

By Erin Alberty

The Salt Lake Tribune

Published July 29, 2010 11:11 pm
This is an archived article that was published on in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
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The son and daughter-in-law of a slain former BYU professor have been accused of murder.

A state grand jury has indicted Roger and Pam Mortensen on charges of murder and obstruction of justice in the death of Kay S. Mortensen, according to defense attorney Greg Skordas.

Roger and Pam Mortensen were arrested Thursday night at their Payson home "without any problems," Skordas said. Kay Mortensen died after his throat was cut Nov. 16 in his home, also in Payson. A cache of 32 guns also was stolen from the home.

Roger and Pam Mortensen have said they were tied up and held hostage by two men in the home during the slaying, but police said there were inconsistencies in their statements. They were named "persons of interest" in January.

After that, police said the couple declined further interviews.

Utah County sheriff's deputies refused to comment on the case Thursday, saying they would release more information Friday morning. Skordas said the charging documents have not yet been released, and he has received no new details on the investigation since he and his clients met with police in January. At that meeting, the Mortensens provided fingerprints and other evidence. Police "surprised" them with a sketch artist, Skordas has said, and he ended the interview because he had a court appointment.

"We don't know what information was presented to the grand jury," Skordas said Thursday. "[Investigators] haven't talked to us anymore. They haven't interviewed the Mortensens. Whatever they gathered, it was unbeknownst to us."

He said Roger and Pam Mortensen "plan to contest the charges without any doubt at all."

"They didn't commit this crime," he said.

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