Potential jurors in Jensen case convene today
Hundreds of people who received jury summonses for Heather Jensen’s trial are expected to meet today at the Mesa County Justice Center, six days before the start of Jensen’s trial.
Mesa County Jury Commissioner Rose Anne Kelley said about 250 residents, among the 550 who were mailed summonses in December, are expected to arrive in three waves this morning to complete questionnaires.
Questionnaires are used, among other things, to identify and remove jurors from the panel because of expressed bias or other reasons. Attorneys on both sides later this week are expected to start striking jurors from the pool based on how they responded to the questionnaire.
The 550 mailed jury summonses were a potential record high for a Mesa County criminal trial. By comparison, 500 were mailed out before the 2004 trial of convicted killer Michael Blagg. Jury selection in Jensen’s trial starts Tuesday.
Jensen, 25, pleaded not guilty to criminally negligent homicide, child abuse resulting in death and false reporting in the deaths of her sons William, 2, and Tyler, 4, who died after overheating in their mother’s SUV on Grand Mesa on Nov. 27, 2012.
Kelley said the difference between the 550 people who were mailed jury summonses, and her projected turnout, account for people who requested a postponement of jury service, or summonses that were returned in the mail undeliverable.