Judge to decide who pays costs in Jensen case
In a bitterly disputed post-sentence question, prosecutors and public defenders are fighting it out over who should pay costs of Heather Jensen’s arrest and extradition to Mesa County in January 2013.
All of which was a waste of time and taxpayer dollars, Jensen’s public defenders have argued.
Jensen’s private attorney in January 2013, Ed Nugent, has said he was in contact with the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office about possible filing of criminal charges in the case and relayed Jensen’s intention to return to Mesa County from Florida, according to a defense filing.
“...The plan for (Jensen’s) return was one that had been discussed with the district attorney,” public defenders wrote in a motion. “Mr. Nugent testified that there was never any indication from the district attorney as to why such a voluntary return to Colorado would not be acceptable to the prosecution, and that he was under the impression that the district attorney was in agreement with Ms. Jensen returning from Florida and turning herself in voluntarily in the event charges were filed.”
Jensen, however, with the help of Florida law enforcement, was arrested on Jan. 16, 2013, on a Mesa County warrant near her mother’s home in Florida and was later returned in-custody to Colorado.
The observations about Nugent and the events of January 2013 were part of a filing by the public defender’s office on April 3, objecting to the prosecution’s request that Jensen be ordered to reimburse Mesa County for costs of extradition totalling $2,375. The defense argues Jensen is indigent, unable to pay and without employment prospects in the near future.
Robison hasn’t ruled on the issue.
Jensen, 25, was sentenced March 21 to serve 10 years in prison following trial convictions in the November 2012 deaths of her sons, William, 4, and Tyler, 2.
Prosecutors have questioned the notion Jensen would have returned voluntarily to Mesa County, while pointing to events of December 2012.
While under investigation for her sons’ deaths, Jensen left Colorado for Florida after penning a letter dated Dec. 11, 2012, to County Court Judge Bruce Raaum, seeking permission to leave the state. As a condition of her deferred judgment and probation after a third-degree assault conviction, Jensen was prohibited from leaving the state without Raaum’s permission.
Raaum on Jan. 7, 2013, issued an order denying Jensen’s request to leave Colorado, well after Jensen had already left the state.
Mesa County Criminal Justice Services on Dec. 31, 2012, filed a summons and notice to revoke Jensen’s probation, citing in part Jensen’s departure from Colorado without court approval while pointing to four failed drug tests.