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Prosecutors have taken the death penalty off the table as they move toward trial in the case against a Utah man accused of killing a retired BYU professor.
Martin Cameron Bond, 25, will go to trial in January no longer facing the possibility of death. Instead, if Bond is found guilty of killing Kay Mortensen during a robbery at his Utah County home, Bond will be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, defense attorney Rudy Bautista said.
"We're very grateful to the victim's family and Utah County for allowing the case to proceed by taking death of the table," Bautista said.
Bond's trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 14 in 4th District Court.
According to court documents, Bond and Benjamin David Rettig, both 24, broke into Mortensen's Payson home in November 2009 to steal the man's extensive weapons collection. During the burglary, Rettig trained a handgun on Mortensen as Bond retrieved a knife he used to slash the 70-year-old man's throat, prosecutors said.
The two tied up Mortensen's son and daughter-in-law, who happened to come by the house during the burglary, charges state.
As part of a plea deal that saw him keep the possibility of parole, Rettig has agreed to testify against Bond.