Jury notices in the mail for accused mom’s trial
You should know if you’re in the running for jury service in the trial of accused Palisade mother Heather Jensen.
That’s because some 400 summonses for Jensen’s trial were trickling into Mesa County mailboxes through early last week, according to Rose Anne Kelley, Mesa County jury commissioner.
The numbers are significant for a Mesa County trial; 500 summonses were mailed for the high-profile 2004 murder trial of Michael Blagg, Kelley noted. Of the 400 ordered in Jensen’s case, recent past suggests perhaps half of that number will actually appear later this month at the Mesa County Justice Center, she said.
Jensen, 25, is scheduled for trial over two weeks starting Oct. 28 and has pleaded not guilty to charges of criminally negligent homicide, child abuse resulting in death and false reporting.
The mailing of jury duty summonses in Jensen’s case comes as District Judge Valerie Robison has yet to rule on a change-of-venue motion filed by Jensen’s defense, seeking to move the trial away from Mesa County. Public Defender Thea Reiff argued in the motion Jensen may not be able to get a fair trial in Mesa County, while characterizing eight months of pretrial publicity as, “massive, pervasive and prejudicial.”
Jensen called 911 the night of Nov. 27, 2012, while responding law enforcement officers found her sons, William, 2, and Tyler, 4, unresponsive near her vehicle close to Powderhorn Mountain Resort. William died that night, while Tyler was removed from life support days later.
An autopsy showed the boys died as a result of hyperthermia, or overheating, after being left alone inside their mother’s Toyota 4Runner.