Jensen pleads not guilty; trial in October

Heather Jensen



JENSEN_Heather_020513

Heather Jensen

A Palisade mother charged in the deaths of her young sons pleaded not guilty to all charges this morning.

Heather Jensen, 25, is now scheduled for trial over two weeks starting Oct. 28 before District Judge Valerie Robison. The deadline for a plea agreement in the case is Oct. 15.

Attorneys on both sides have acknowledged for several weeks the District Attorney’s Office had extended a plea offer which Jensen had been considering. It’s unlikely the plea offer — terms were never confirmed by the prosecution — was still valid after today’s not-guilty plea.

Clifton resident Robert Mathena, the grandfather of late William and Tyler Jensen, said he was surprised at Jensen’s decision but also pleased. She’s raised the stakes for a conviction, he noted.

“Going to trial, she’s got a chance for a lot more (prison) time,” Mathena said.

Jensen is charged with two counts of child abuse resulting in death; two counts of criminally negligent homicide; and one count of false reporting to authorities, stemming from the deaths of her sons, William, 2, and Tyler, 4. The boys died as a result of overheating in their mother’s Toyota 4Runner after they were left alone in the vehicle on the night of Nov. 27, 2012, on Grand Mesa, as their mother had sex with a man in another vehicle nearby.

Read more in Friday’s Daily Sentinel.



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