Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mark Jensen Awaiting Opinion/ Decision From Appellate Court

Mark Jensen
update 12/29/2010

Mark Jensen filed to appeal  his  first-degree murder conviction back in June 2008 but the appeal wasn't opened until April 2009. This week the appeal has finally been assigned to a three Judge panel with the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, District 2. On June 24, 2010 all briefs were submitted and the case is now pending an opinion/decision.

Julie Jensen
 Jensen was convicted of first- degree murder in February 2008 for the Ethylene Glycol (antifreeze) poisoning of his wife Julie in December 1998. The case took 10 years to come to trial because of evidentiary issues, including a letter written by Julie several weeks before her death.

Julie gave the letter to a neighbor with instruction the letter was to be given to police in the event of her death. The letter detailed her suspicions that Mark may have been planning to kill her.This case has become widely known as "The case of the letter from the grave."

At the end of the murder trial Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder  ruled the letter was Julie's Dying Declaration. The WI Supreme Court had already ruled the letter was admissible under the "Forfeiture of Wrong Doing Clause" if Judge Schroeder, after conducting a forfeiture hearing,  found by a preponderance of evidence that it was likely Mark had killed Julie to keep her from testifying. With that ruling Mark forfeited his right to confront his accuser. Special Prosecutor Robert Jambois said in 2009 that he won't be surprised if this case makes it to the US Supreme Court because of the constitutional issues involved.

Katfish...ponders doesn't know how long it will take for an opinion/decision to be reached but I'll continue to keep a close eye on the case. Both parties have requested they be allowed oral arguments,  I assume that will be considered and hope it is allowed. There is a mountain of evidence to be considered in this case, so it may take some time. Mark Jensen was sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole and is serving his sentence at the Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun, WI.

Click here to see earlier coverage at Katfish...ponders of this case and the appeal of the conviction. Throughout these entries are links to various legal documents, Julie's letter and the WI Court of Appeals website and media coverage. Here is a link to a site constructed by Julie Jensen's brothers in her memory. It is a lovely tribute and a great one-stop place to learn about this case..

A final note, many have asked where Mark and Julie's son's are and about Mark's marriage to Kelly (LeBonte) Jensen.( Mark's mistress at the time of Julie's death and wife soon after.) On the memorial website Julie's brothers have a time line where they note that in April 2008, Kelly Jensen was named as legal guardian of Mark & Julie’s youngest son. (The older son is of legal age.) Julie’s brother was  granted co-guardian of his estate to insure money is properly set up for his future. In May 2009, Kelly filed for divorce from Mark. There are links to some of the legal documents about the divorce in the older entries here at Katfish....ponders. Sphere: Related Content


  1. Katfish, thanks for the update. Mark Jensen's trial was a hum-dinger. We followed it "live" every day.

    One thing Schroeder did to halp ensure that the letter would stay in was to also consider it a "dying declaration". He put a great deal of time and thought into that memorandum. Let's hope that the case stands by his decision.

    I know the jurrors used the letter and the list to tie the case together. Didn't they say later though, that they would have found him guilty without the letter?

    I'm hanging my hopes on Judge Schroeder's decisions.

  2. Hi Ritanita :)
    I watched that trial live/online everyday too and then when InSession replayed the trial in 2009, I watched it again. That was very interesting as far as the prosecution, witnesses and members of the jury who came on to talk about the case. I don't think Craig Albee appeared....not positive....I'm sure he was off the case by then, so I imagine he has moved his focus to his current cases.

    When the state first responded to the defense appellate brief, they weren't depending on the letter as a dying declaration. They felt the letter stood on it's own as an exception under Giles, and if the court found otherwise that it would be harmless error because most of the info in the letter came in by way of testimony anyway.I did an extensive post about the state's response.
    In March 2010, the state filed a motion to correct/supplement the record to include Judge Schroeder's Memorandum regarding the Dying Declaration which was granted by the court.
    While the letter was very compelling, I still felt there was enough to convict Jensen:

    1) The clincher for me was that Julie would not have been physically able to get on the computer and do those searches the day she died, that just convinced me beyond any doubt that Julie didn't commit suicide. The Ambien that Mark got for Julie from the DR. the day before she died had 4 or 5 missing along with the fact she was dying just negates the searches were done by Julie the day she died. Of course that in itself doesn't mean Mark killed her, but in my mind plenty of other evidence did.

    2)Mark's own words, he told LE she couldn't even raise herself up to kiss the boys goodbye that morning and I believe Ed Klug's testimony, the day planner, the post it note, the computer searches, the e-mails, the systematic torture of Julie with the pictures over the years...
    I could go on and on.

  3. Hi Katfish! Thanks for the update. I am glad the younger son has the protection of co-guardianship of an uncle. Somehow I just don't trust the lovely Kelley to put his interest before her own. Also not surprised the mistress/wife #2 is now the ex. I couldn't see her tying a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree and waiting and waiting for her one true love to return.

  4. September,
    I couldn't agree more! Kelly really has been the only mother he(Douglas?) has known, as he was too young to have memories of Julie, so to remove him from Kelly's care would probably only add tragedy to his young life, especially with his younger brother(Mark and Kelly's son)in her care.

    Heaven knows that Mark and Kelly didn't do anything to foster any memories of Julie for the I said though....God knows.They may be able to live on this earth with what they have done, but they will someday have to answer.

    Thanks for stopping bye and commenting ~waving~

  5. Hello Friend!

    These cases make my blood run cold, these monsters dressed like people. When did murder become the lesser of two evils? Divorce, nah, child support and alimony, bite. I'll just feed the ol ball and chain some antifreeze and tell the kids she offed herself. (Those poor kids)

    And another woman wanted to marry that?

    I didn't follow this case, like others we know, but am aware of the high points. Was there any indication wife 2 knew what was happening to Julie? (can you imagine feeling the need to write that letter?)

    Do you know where we can talk in real time like we did at J13? I am locked out of Google and don't have enough Net Connection to open FireFox and post.

    OK my friend, I will be anonymous I can't log in as LCMom and blogspot is being weird (they sent my password to Google, big freaking help!)

    HUGS and waiting for good news from the hearing.

  6. Katfish, I agree with you that Kelly hasn't fostered any love for their mother. I can't remember which program it is (Datline, 48 Hours) that did a program on the case. It reruns from time to time on Discovery ID. It features Mark's parents blasting Julie. You can be sure they have also had an influence on the boys.

    The most gut wrenching example of this is the letter supposedly written by the sons that Albee read at the sentencing. It addressed Julie Jensen as their "biological mother". The inference then and there was that Kelly was the "real mother" to the boys.

    I was also glad to see that one of Julie's brothers has a hand in her estate. But, I have to wonder the same as I wondered back at the time of the trial. Will the EVER realize what was done to them by their father, his family, and Kelly.

  7. Katfish, thanks for your warm welcome/comments. I don't post much but check your site at least weekly. I always find it informative and well written. Just wish you'd post more often. :)

    Ritanita,good to see you. I can't access Trials since new format came on (I am computer challenged)And I miss you guys.
    Your question about the boys was profound. I honestly don't know what I hope the boys will accept regarding their mother's death. Their Dad is all they have left. I don't think they can live with the truth. And yet it is so unfair that they believe that Julie cared so little about them that she would chose death over them.
    This is one for King Solomon.

  8. I am hopeful that the boys will have some exposure to Julie's family. Hopefully there are specialist(s) involved in whatever decisions are made regarding Douglas. David, being of age, will no doubt decide for himself.

    September, If there is no contact allowed with the Griffins and/or specialists, you may be right, that this will be one for King Soloman.

    Thank you for the kind comments, I'm glad you value my pondering, I try to share responsibly. Because of health issues, sometimes my time spent posting is erratic.....but I do love blogging. ;)

    Ritanita, Were you surprised AL bailed on Casey?

  9. Hi Katfish,

    I was a juror on the Mark Jensen trial (one of the chosen alternates). I wanted to thank you for your coverage here. I obviously pay close attention to this case and having folks like you gather that info is really helpful.

    It was a rough 7 weeks of life, being a juror on the Jensen trial. It put a strain on my family, a huge burden on my job and was the source of nightmares for that time and a while afterwards. Definitely a life experience I will always remember.


  10. Juror-Alternate-Number-1
    Welcome to katfish...ponders and thanks for commenting!
    I check (at least) weekly to see if the judges have ruled yet on the appeal.There is a lot of info for them to go through (as you know) and both sides requested to make oral arguments as well ( I don't know if that was granted). Of course at this level it's not a guilt or innocence argument just an argument about the legal merits....we'll see.

    I cannot imagine what you jurors went through during that trial. I watched it gavel to gavel online and was mesmerized. In my opinion Mark Jensen is a diabolical killer. I think the jury got it right with the verdict handed down, and pray it is upheld. I really want to thank you all for the hard work and devotion you all gave to this case. I haven't forgotten you all driving in blizzards to attend. Feel free to contribute here any time. kat :)

  11. A little activity in the appeal:
    Motion for Miscellaneous Relief

    Filed By: Christopher Rose
    Submit Date: 8-16-2010
    Decision: (G) Grant
    Decision Date: 8-17-2010
    ORD that the motion to supplement the appendix to the appellant's brief is granted. No later than 8/27/10 the appellant shall file the appropriate number of copies of the supplement with the clerk of this court.