Friday, February 29, 2008

Mark Jensen Murder Trial: Sentence! LWOP

February 29, 2008
I apologize for taking so long to get the coverage of the Jensen trial sentencing up. I wanted to include as much of the court proceedings as I could to honor Julie’s family and her memory. Sprocket.

We are live in the courtroom and the camera closes in on Craig Albee. Then the camera moves to Kelly. Holy cow! Now that she’s out of the “nun like” outfit we can see that she’s got a huge rack on her! Wow. Huge. David, sitting beside her has his head down and people are talking to him. Kelly and others are supporting him. David looks quite sullen, with his hair combed forward to cover most of his face.

The attorneys all went in chambers with the Judge and the feed is just on the Judge’s bench. This is a much nicer courtroom than the one the case was heard in.

We see two of Julie’s brothers. The side of the courtroom the defense and prosecution is on switches from the Elkhorn courthouse. Jensen I believe, will be in prison garb. The camera is now on the little passage way door where the deputies will bring Jensen into the courtroom. And we wait.

ritanita: Kelly and David are in the courtroom. That's the biggie for me right now. David looks so very much like his father. This must be one of the hardest days in his life. My heart goes out to him. On the other side of the courtroom, her brothers smiled and greeted Mr. Jambois. Marks parents arrive and sit with the other members of the family.

donchais: Nice courtroom.

ritanita: I am very impressed with Kenosha! Judge Schroeder must feel good to be "home."

Jensen’s sister enters the courtroom, and she sits second or third row back. Now she changes seats, and sitting directly behind David and Kelly and Jensen’s parents.

ritanita: Jean Casarez mentioned that when Laura came in and sat behind David, she gave him a bit of a smile, he didn't acknowledge her.

David’s hair covers a part of his face, and he keeps his head down. He’s quite sullen looking. We see another one of Julie’s brothers, who is hugging his siblings. They are all there now, all four brothers. And then we lose sound. Ah! It’s back! And we wait.

We see the empty chair where Mark will sit when he enters the courtroom. donchais thinks the judge is finishing his egg McMuffin. The camera shows a shot of Ratzburg. He’s been chasing this case for almost ten years. Dan, Jensen’s father and his mother who are sitting together right behind the defense area are not looking too happy.

We see a shot of the door behind the bench were the attorneys are congregating, but Jambois isn’t in there now. But he was the first time. We are now watching the doorway that Jensen will emerge from into the courtroom. Then the camera pans in close on the doorway. The cameraman must know he’s coming. Just like I thought; he’s in prison garb. A white T-shirt and dark gray prison garb over it. Kelly smiles at him. I will always believe she knew what Jensen was planning. In my mind, there’s no way that she didn’t know. Jensen is in handcuffs.

Jean Casarez reports that members of the jury and an alternate are in the courtroom. Jensen’s parents are in the courtroom sitting in the front row on the defense side, but they do not speak to Jensen or to Kelly and David who are sitting in the same row.

The announcement comes. Please rise.

The Judge takes the bench and the courtroom goes silent.

Judge Schroeder goes over an issue that still needs to be resolved. The correction of the death certificate regarding Julie Jensen.

The attorneys identify themselves for the proceeding and Judge Schroeder starts to speak. Based upon the evidence produced upon the trial, first of all we’ll need an amendment form the medical examiner because when this case was submitted in 2004 the case was originally submitted to Judge Fisher so it has branch four on there so it needs to be corrected. So I ask that you ask Dr. Mainland to submit a new form 5040. Unless there is an objection when the form is submitted the court will direct the examiner to change the medical certification portion of death certificate listing the manner of death as pending to state that, in box 46 A the cause of death was ethylene glycol poisoning and the manner of death at box 38 criminal homicide. And otherwise as submitted is satisfactory. Any objection to that?

There’s no objection from the state.

Albee: Judge, I’d like to see the petition as submitted and would like to have the opportunity to object at that time. I’d request five days .

Judge: All right. If you would see that that is submitted to Mr. Albee for review and the court will approve it after five days if there is no objection.

The second issue I wanted to comment on before the finale judgment in the case is entered, is uh, with respect to the evidentiary ruling about the dying declaration. I apologize. I started another trial on Monday and I’ve been in trial all week, so, and continue in the trial this afternoon, so I have not had a chance to complete the memorandum which I had promised for today. I do want to state some of what I’ve assembled in terms of the rationale for the ruling which was made that this is a dying declaration since it has the potential to be of extreme importance to the future course of this case.

I just observe that, one of the principle things that Crawford vs Washington did was not only clarify for us what the rule of confrontation is and how it works, but to make very clear to us, and I’m quoting directly from the decision at 541 United States 54 amendment six is most naturally read as a reference to the right of confrontation at common law, admitting only those exceptions established at the time of the founding. There’s other references in the decision to the historical basis for the rule, but what they make clear is that, when one is working with the right of confrontation, that the historical rule as it existed at the time of the adoption of the bill of rights is what’s to be considered. That is the reasoning behind the determination that this was a dying declaration. (There’s more.)

And soon after, although I’m typing away, I’m totally lost as to what the Judge is talking about with the rule of confrontation being over 1,000 years old. I think I get the gist, but I’m not really sure. He’s going back 200 years as to what the original framers of the law meant by dying declarations, their origin in religion and from what I am grasping, it appears he disagrees with the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s ruling that Julie’s letter is NOT a dying declaration, and he goes on to explain why he accepted it as a dying declaration letter. Schroeder continues to quote more ancient law and what the rulings were in those cases. More cases are mentioned. And as the Judge reads about these cases, the camera closes in on Jensen.

“One of the principles of English law, which was driven by religious belief was represented by the maxim, (and he rattles off a latin phrase here) that is, a dying person is not presumed to lie."

The camera pans to a close up of David.

“It would seem that every dying declaration would be a dying declaration. It would seen that a person in such a position with such, would be under the same stress, and the the situation would question the stating even while the declarent's under that stress. It makes no sense that we have a different law....”

And the Judge reads more case law about the framing of the constitution and I get more lost. Then the Judge bursts out in an angry voice, addressing someone in the gallery.

“Sir! If you’re going to carry on you’re going to leave this courtroom right now! Do I make myself clear! In the middle! You know who I’m talking to! (It’s totally startling this outburst from the Judge.) You!

(Man! I know exactly what that feels like!)

"I’ll leave your honor," a voice from the gallery replies.

And the Judge says, “That’s fine with me!”

Judge Schroeder goes on about dying declarations, and I can’t grab it because he’s reading so fast. He’s reading old English sounding language.

LinZbee: Morning all. I just turned TTV on and missed what just happened. Did I hear in the background of what's happening here, the judge just kick some guy out of the court room? Please tell me what happened. Thanks.

donchais: He was talking in court, a no no.

Schroeder then gives an example of making a scheduled payment online, for a bill to be paid on a certain date, and the parallel’s he draws to Julie Jensen’s letter that is to be delivered to the police in the event of her death. His example is strikingly eloquent in explaining Julie’s frame of mind in writing that letter before hand, in the event that near her death, she would be unable to make a dying declaration.

ritanita: Judge Schroeder quotes examples from Shakespeare.

The justification of the Common Law was that a dying person would face the wrath of Hell. The modern interpretation has been that it was merely an excited utterance. The 1791 references are more important than the current version. The Judge compares this to the way he schedules on-line credit card payments. By putting a future date in and doesn't change it, it will go through. That is is desire. Julie wrote the letter and gave it to Thad Wojt prior to her death, but never took it back to change her intentions.

I'm impressed! The Judge takes Common Law and proves it by 21st century technology! Wow, for not having finished his finding, this sure is rambling.

A close up on Jensen. His lips pursed.

LinZbee: How perfect it will be if Julie's letter is the linchpin that hangs Mark's hide with the strongest sentence. I just feel so sorry for his son. "The Doomsday Letter", the judge called it.

“There is not doubt that Julie Jensen feared she would swiftly lose her ability to communicate. That she scheduled her letter for when her death was confirmed. Julie purposely allowed the letter to remain....” And I lose getting the last bit of what Judge Schroeder was conveying when he proceeds to sentence.

ritanita: Ah, but this is the key to the conviction. Judge Schroeder is justifying his decision for declaring Julie's letter a dying declaration. That would make it an exception to the hearsay rule which is presently before the Supreme Court. If that case prevails, Mark Jensen would have a good shot at winning his appeal.

Albee speaks for the record. Judge, I just have a few comments. I certainly wasn’t prepared to raise any issue regarding the dying declaration today but I would say that, at the the trial, this matter, the dying declaration rule was not the the basis for the admission of the letter or any other hearsay evidence. Procedurally, it’s not an issue that was briefed by the parties or raised by the prosecution at the time of trial. I would view the courts opinion, given those circumstances, as purely advisory, since it wasn’t the basis for admission of evidence in this case because the parties did not brief this issue did not have a chance to respond to the issue that the courts raised “su a sponte.” (I’m sure I have that latin wrong.)

Those are mostly procedural things, the only thing I would just note at this time in terms of the validity of the court’s ruling. I oppose whole heartedly, I don’t think there is a basis for admitting it as as a dying declaration. I don’t think any of the existing law supports admitting it as a dying declaration. And I don’t think that as interpreted it would survive any confrontation challenge. But if the court’s looking at the law as it existed at the time of the founding, I’m unaware of any interpretation of dying declarations prior to 1791 in which dying declarations were interpreted so broadly as to encompass statements made long before a person was, uh, in the dying process, if you were under that belief. And so, I don’t, think even under the court’s reasoning that, uh, at the time of the founding that would allow the admission of this, of this evidence. Were I to take the time to brief this, I think I would have numerous other objections to the admission of this evidence as dying declarations but I think all those are preserved particularly since procedurally there was not an opportunity to brief this issue before a decision by the court.

Mr. Jambois: First of all your honor, I have in the past likened this letter, to some more like a testamentary request than, or bequest rather than a dying declaration. I have to say that I found that I’d never done the research that the court has probably done in this case and I have to say I found it intriguing. However, you did admit this document as a dying declaration, you found that to be an independent basis for admission of the document and you did that during the states case in chief as I recall. So it is on the record, and it is part of the record in this case.

Judge: Well I don’t think it was during the state’s case in chief.

Jambois: It wasn’t?

Judge: I think it was prior to the close in the evidence, however, I think ultimately I have the responsibility to decide on how the evidence is received and it strikes me that the core rule, and there are some dying declarations as old as three weeks before death reported in English law. You're getting into the timing, and the timing is relevant only so far as it bears upon whether the declarant would have had the fear that she would have to pay for what she was saying in the afterlife. That’s the core of the rule. That’s what its all about. Otherwise, we wouldn’t even have a rule, that’s absurd....

I miss a lot of the next text, but he goes onto say:

But we are dealing here now with exceptions to the confrontation clause and Crawford has taught us that that has to be looked at, the way people thought in 1791. Now, um, ~ the Judge grasps for some words ~ I’m struggling with this idea, that this is kind of a of a glorified dying declaration. It doesn’t make any sense. Why would they even have, a dying declaration rule, if ~ a glorified excited utterance~ It seems to me every dying declaration, or at least the huge majority of them, I guess I would say all of them, would have to be exited utterances so it doesn’t make any sense to have two different rules. Not only two different rules, but two different conditions upon which the evidence can be received. So there must be something special about the dying declaration and the answer is what the founders believed and relied upon.

donchais: This must be pure torture for Mark sitting there.

Judge: I’m sure that we won’t hear the last on this issue, but perhaps the last from me.

Albee: Family members of the victims that want to be heard. The sons have given me a letter that they would like me to read.

And, this is from David and Douglas Jensen. David, David is here in the courtroom. Dear Judge Schroeder, Our names are David and Douglas Jensen. We are the sons of Mark and Julie Jensen. Throughout this case, we have remained silence. Silent. And the true character of our father has remained obscured. We write this to give voice to the type of man he is.

After the death of our birth mother, Julie, he took care of us. We were, all of us, devastated at her loss. And the memory of him crying while holding his sons on his lap, is one of my most vivid. He was there to comfort us; to make sure we were okay. Not just emotionally, but in our daily lives as well.

Our dad has been described as unemotional, or something to that effect in the media. For those that don’t know him, this may appear to be true. But in reality, he is a strong willed person. He taught us how to hold ourselves up and carry on in our life, despite any adversity or hardship we may be facing. He never failed to support us throughout this ordeal. When he couldn’t return to his work after he was charged, he started a business to provide for his family.

It is true he worked a lot. However, this isn’t uncommon with today’s families. Despite this, he always made time for us. He’s always done this for us. If we ever need help, advice or just someone to talk to, we know we can go to him for anything. Also, whenever we spent time together, he made sure it was fun. Whether it was a weekend outing, or just bringing home a kringle for breakfast on Saturday, we enjoy the time we spend together. He cares deeply for his family.

Mark starts to break up.

Even while being held in the Kenosha pretrial facility, or Elkhorn during the trial, whenever we spoke with him on the phone, his greatest concern was the well being of his family. If anyone in this world is the epitome of loyalty, it is our dad. He encouraged us to follow our interests and to do well in school. It didn’t matter whether we needed some help on homework or just wanted to tell someone about an interesting article or book we’d read. He’d stop to listen and have a conversation.

Even in the face of this case, our Dad has been someone our family has counted on. While our desire would be for his immediate release, we realize the impossibility of this, as the court must pass a sentence in spite of his innocence. In light of this, we request that our Dad, be eligible for parole as soon as possible. We love you dad. Thank you.

Sincerely, David Jensen, Douglas Jensen.

Mark is actually crying. Donchais says, “This is the only emotion I’ve ever seen out of him” “He’s crying for himself,” I reply. Those poor, brainwashed kids. How sad.

Xspectorant: I see the jurors in the courtroom. Poor David, He looks so much like his Dad. There's Mark crying. Wahhhhh poor me! I murdered my sons' mother, but I'm still a great Dad! Wahhhhhhh!

EddieHaskel: Julie's letter can't stand by itself; she also had to DIE and there had to be supporting evidence for a jury to convict. And they had enough evidence to convict.

ritanita: That's it? I just knew she wouldn't say bupkis for darlin' hubby!

SKelly63: That was a fake cry. It broke my heart to hear that letter and Julie being described as "our birth mother." That just means they call the skank "mom."

EddieHaskel: His emotion may stem from knowing his son is sitting behind him and hearing all this, and I think he's crying for himself and his loss of freedom.

Paul Griffin speaks:

I respectfully ask the court today to show no mercy for Mark Jensen. Why you might ask? Because he showed no mercy to his wife, my sister Julie Jensen. He treated her poorly by taking advantage of her kind and gentle, giving nature. He disrespected her, as she took care of their house and children, while he did only what pleased him, while making her serve him.

He showed no mercy while he routinely tortured and abused Julie mentally by recording her telephone calls, and placing pornographic photos around their house, year after year. He controlled her by keeping track of the miles on her car and expected her to be hone at all times that he called.

When she tried to leave him he threatened that she would never see her children again. He showed no mercy when he tried to poison her, not once, but numerous times in 1998. He showed no mercy to her children as he ignored their pleas to bring their sick mother to the hospital. On December third, he looks his boys in the eyes, knowing he was not going to allow them to see their mother alive again. He propped her up in bed while she was barely able to breathe barely able to speak for her children to see.

Mark Jensen showed no mercy as Julie lay dying in bed suffering through the stages of ethylene glycol poisoning, her respiratory system and organs failing. When she was not dying fast enough he showed no mercy as he sat on her back and shoved her face in a pillow, suffocating her until the life left her body.

Mark Jensen hid behind a mask of fatherhood and providing for a family. He cold heartedly lied to, and tore apart with his selfishness and disrespect for life. He murdered d the person who made his entire adult life a success, and gave him two wonderful boys. He had a chance to make things right yet he chose evil, which he plotted and schemed for years and years, until finally ending his sick game of torture by finally killing my sister.

Killing Julie was not enough for Mark Jensen. He further chose to spit on her grave by claiming she killed herself. He tried to erase her existence from the lives of her sons. He has continued for almost ten years to make their children believe that she left them stranded.

He showed no mercy and his claims that Julie’s mother and family, my family are depressed suicidal people. Mark Jensen is a coward. He claimed Julie’s letter was not admissible in court because she was not here to be confronted, yet he made false claims against my deceased mother. Your honor, Mark Jensen does not deserve any opportunities for a second chance. I ask today for the maximum: No Mercy. No parole for Mark Jensen. Thank you, your honor.

Judge: Thanks Mr. Griffin. I want to thank you, and I forgot to point out before hand, in making your remarks, keep in mind please that, you are to direct your remarks to me, and not Mr. Jensen and how I am to dispose of the case. So please keep that in mind.

EddieHaskel: Well, if Julie's brother wanted to develop a relationship with David, I'm thinking that ship just sailed.

ritanita: I always hope that, with the passage of time, David will heal from this and begin to look at his Mother's death. Patrick's letter is so powerful.

donchais: Anyone else crying?

Xspectorant: Yes.

SKelly63: Me, this is so rough to watch.

Another brother takes the stand.

My name is Patrick Griffin, Julie's youngest brother. I will never forget the utter devastation of getting a call from my brother telling me that Julie had passed away at age 40, from an interaction from her doctor’s prescriptions. This was on December 3rd, 1998. I will never forget the second crippling blow of my brother telling me that Julie was murdered. Poisoned, by the defendant, who had his mistress soon after, staying over nights, and that Julie had been suspicious enough, to write a letter to police. This was in spring, 1999. I will never forget the despair and helplessness, learning that the defendant was out on a measly five hundred thousand dollar bail, even after killing his own children’s mother.

I will never forget his disappointment and misery, that Julie's letter to the police would be allowed into evidence and his bail was lowered, in 2004 to three hundred and fifty thousand and only to check in once a week. I will never forget the Superior Courts ruling.
I will never forget an inmates testimony, about suffocating Julie.

I will never forget the defendants winks and grins during trial. But not to get on the stand to spit on the grave, but to portray her as suicidal. There is only one who needs a psychological profile done. I will remember my own children wanting to know who Aunt Julie was and who their cousins are. I will remember her forever in photographs and music.

Over nine years, from hearing the words Julie's dead to hearing the words guilty. Someday I hope to remember how the defendant passed away not as a free man, but as someone who had paid the price of a selfish act that he had committed long ago. I ask that the court show the same no mercy that he showed he to Julie.

Another brother.

I’m Michael Griffin, Julie's younger brother.

Mark just didn't just poison Julie a kind caring person for nearly ten years, he emotionally tormented her, and caused her sexual pain.

Unfortunately at this point I had a house emergency and I had to step away from my computer, and I lose a section of Michael's statement.

I continue to grieve for Julie in her final months and days, as he continued to torture her, as she fought for consciousness and finally for her last breath. I will forever miss her natural loving of David and Douglas. that this dangerous individual, who is beyond psychological social rehabilitation, can do no more harm to anyone and we can make reparation of the truth to the memory of our sister, Julie. Thank you.

Final brother.

I am Larry Griffin, Julie's older brother.

Judge, I believe Mark’s motive for snuffing out the healthy life of the mother of his two boys was to feed a personal vengeance he had against her, for a brief affair she encountered and a playboy lifestyle that she prevented him from living. Divorce would have been so easy. Mark and Julie could have gone their own separate ways, and negotiated the parenting of their children. But no. He saw fit to harm, to torture, to kill his wife, my sister. From whom did he acquire this authority over life and death?

He performed a reprehensible act that is morally unacceptable. I believe he must suffer. Julie still lives in the lives of David and Douglas. They know through her, just what he is all about. Their eyes, her eyes, will haunt him to his grave.

Judge: Thank you Mr. Griffin.

donchais: Mark has looked at the Griffins with anger as each has read their statements.

ritanita: It's hard to take, hearing the grief.

As my co-reporters are commenting on how emotional the letters are, I force myself to remain composed, to try to obtain as much coverage as possible. I shut off my feelings so I can report on the sentencing, to honor Julie and her family as best I can.

donchais: Everyone of their statements have been most eloquent.

SKelly63: OMG look what he wrote his remarks on.... I cant take much more of this.

ritanita: Larry wrote his statement on the back of a picture of Julie and the boys. OK, that did me in. I'm bawling.

Xspectorant: Hmmm. Julie's bro just mentioned the greeting cards Julie always sent. I wonder if Jambois ever researched to see if Julie had purchased the family's Christmas greeting cards yet. If she made a recent purchase (usually I look to buy mine after Thanksgiving), would that help disprove the suicidal theory?

ritanita: Good question. Well, one of her brothers received a gift from her, discounting that she didn't shop for the holiday.

Jambois speaks to the court:

I've waited a long time for this day Judge. I know that you've had an opportunity to assess the evidence from a more elevated plane, that of an arbiter of what comes into court and what doesn’t from an objective perspective. I've never had that luxury. I've been working to solve this case and working to find the truth in this case since December 3rd, 1998. What I've learned in this pursuit just how utterly devious a person Mark Jensen is. When we recovered the computer and we saw what Mark Jensen was doing on that computer we discovered how devious he was.

I really see no... I see both sides of Mark Jensen, in this courtroom when I hear from his family. When I heard the letter that was written by David and Douglas which I’m sure, is a heart felt rendition of their perception of their father. It doesn't surprise me in the least that Mark Jensen was able to hold his two small sons on his lap and weep with them, over their terrible loss and cause them to believe that he was blameless for their terrible loss, knowing all along that he was the arbiter, he was the cause of this terrible loss. I can see Mark Jensen doing that. I can invision Mark Jensen doing that.

And I hope at the time, that you consider the appropriate penalty in this case, you invision Mark Jensen. The real Mark Jensen. The Mark Jensen that was presented and revealed to the jury. The Mark Jensen that is presented and revealed to you today, by the statements of all the victims in this case including the statements of David and Douglas.

Consider, invision, Mark Jensen holding David and Douglas on his lap. The day of, the day after her death. The same day, the day after her death was the same day that he was talking to Dave Nearing (sp?) and discussing the advisability of having his lover, his girlfriend move into the house, before the wake. The same day that Julie was being carved open on a table, by a forensic pathologist, that same day, he was discussing with his friend David Nearing the advisability of inviting his girlfriend to the wake of his wife. And that same day, he was holding his sons on his lap, and weeping with them for their loss. The loss that he caused.

The same Mark Jensen who would sit with his wife, his wife Julie, throw a picture at her, and say to her, look what your boyfriend left for me today. So that he could observe her anguish, her shame, once again. Relish it. Love it. Love the humiliation that he was working upon his wife.

Kelly looks stoic.

Mark Jensen treated his wife the way some demented people torture small animals or pick the wings off flies. That’s the way Mark Jensen treated his wife in the years preceding her death. And those kinds of people who torture small animals can, none the less, portray themselves as something completely different to those around them. To those whom they care about. Mark Jensen cares about his children, but in terms of Julie, how did he describe her? Why that was one of his details. And details are just noise in the bigger picture. You really get a chilling picture of the ways Mark Jensen’s mind works and the reason that he is able to persuade his parents, and to persuade his children is because Mark Jensen is a true sociopath. A true sociopath. As Laura Coster, prophetically told Julie, a week and a half before she died, “I lived with him for 18 years you have no idea what he's capable of.”

We know that this case calls for manditaory LWOP.

Jambois, requests that if he decides on parole, that it be many many years into the future.

Or tell this defendant that he will never receive parole. He has stole his freedom for the last nine years. He was out on bond for 8.5 years. He worked over time to destroy Julie’s memory. He wanted to poison the ground so that no more more love would exist by these children for their mother. I don’t know if the kids are emotionally prepared to look for that (the truth in this case). I encourage them to look at the transcript of this case to anguish over it, just like the jury did.

And their father, who acted as though he loved them , did an act that made them suffer for the rest of their life. That you look at the true Mark Jensen who could hold his sons on his lap and comfort them all t he while knowing that he murdered his wife.

And how he tortured her, and watched chow he relished in her fear and her shame .

donchais: Jambois is even saying the kids were brainwashed.

Xspectorant: The air must weigh 1000 lbs in that courtroom. I get the feeling everyone there is having a hard time breathing, even more so than me. Rest in peace, Julie, rest in peace.

ritanita: You can feel it. I feel for Laura. She seems to have lost her family, too.

SKelly63: Im sorry; if your kids are receiving free school lunches because you claim you cant afford it, then you better not be getting your hair highlighted etc. I CANT stand that skank Kelly.

donchais: Can you imagine how Jambois feels, having chased this for 10 years?

Xspectorant: Dang! I'd hate to be Judge Schroeder.

ritanita: I'm guessing the judge gives him 300 years before he can ask for parole.

SKelly63: An excellent father does not kill the mother of his children..... (BS!)

Mr. Albee.

In considering what is an appropriate sentence in this case, really comes down to hen he should have the eligibility of parole. the court must consider the defense character and the gravity to the public, We maintain the wrong decision in this case and that the court must accept the jury's verdict, in this case.

It’s a very serious offense. that’s why we have life in prison mandated. That’s why under the best case scenario from the defendant’s perspective, it’s a long, long time before parole is ever a possibility. In looking at what we should do in this individual case, and of course that’s what the court must do is look at this particular person, Mark Jensen, We can look at the rest of his life. He's’ been hard working, he’s worked ever since high school. He's always been employed. He’s been an excellent father to his children.

Even neighbors who are extremely biased against Mr. Jensen, recognized that he was a loving father from all of their observations. You have the letter from the children in this case. They love their father, that he’s been supportive of them. They’ve done very well. David is at the top of class and heading off to college next year. And they've made it though this ordeal as intact as they could be because of their father’s support, willingness to talk, willingness to be the kind of supportive parent they needed to get through the loss of their mother.

Mr. Jensen has no prior criminal convictions, just his offense that the court must sentence on. In terms of protection of the public, again no prior offenses; no offenses while this case was going on. Four hundred and fifty plus times he reported without incident to either the DA’s office or to the corrections service. This court must consider the recommendation of people who are characterized as victims. And his children under the law fit that profile most directly. What they want, is for their dad, who they see on a daily basis, who they know in a way that no one els in this court knows him. And they see what kind of person he is. He’s a hard working man who’s been supportive of all their needs. What they want is that he have the opportunity for parole eligibility at the earliest date.

Mr. Jambois suggests they read the whole transcript. That’s fine. That’s up to them. I have no concerns about that, because I think that no matter what they know hat kind of man their father is. And, at the end of the day, the court is not deciding whether or not Mr. Jensen is released on parole, but simply deciding whether or not he has the opportunity. And as these young men and boys become adults, and they have the opportunity to examine this case however they see fit and receive whatever information they think is relevant to their consideration of who their father is. And if they feel differently at the time that a parole board might meet, somewhere down the line when Mr. Jensen is at least in his sixties, the parole board will ask them how they feel.

And if they feel differently then, well that will be taken into consideration. If they feel the same way that they do now, that ought to be taken into consideration because they are under the law the people who are identified as victims in this case. And, the parole board can take into consideration all the circumstances as they exist at that time including the wishes of the victims, David and Douglas Jensen. And, the parole board can consider under the circumstances as they exist at that time, whether the public is protected from Mr. Jensen and I see no risk that he would pose at all, if he were to be released in his sixties. He’s been a productive member of society throughout his life. So, what I’m asking this court, is, to follow the wishes of David and Douglas Jensen in this case and allow them what they wish which is the opportunity for their father to be considered for parole in the statutory time. What might be considered the default time period under, what that section 306.01 sub zero one.

The camera moves quickly over to Kelly Jensen, who doesn’t appear to be looking at her husband, and then the camera zooms in on David, and stays there for a time. He keeps his head down and is so solemn looking. Jensen looks sullen as Albee speaks.

And the parole board can make the decision on the circumstances as they exist at that time. As while this is a very serious crime, so are the penalties. So is the lengthy time before he is even eligible for parole and the life sentence that’s hanging over his head right now. But the victim’s rights rule, isn’t a one way street. It wasn’t enacted just so victims could express their wishes and Judges would hammer those defendants in cases where the victims wanted vengeance, retribution. But in this case, those children want mercy. They want that in part because they’ve spent on a daily basis their time with their dad who they love and know to be a good person, and who’s brought them up well.

Again, if they feel differently thirteen years, twenty years down the line, whenever there’s a parole hearing set, they can express that. And Mr. Jensen won’t get out. But if they feel the same way they do now, then as victims, their rights out to be respected and the door shouldn’t be shut on that. And the parole board can consider the circumstances as they exist including the wishes at that time of the Griffin brothers. But, the door shouldn’t be shut, on these young men and they should have the hope that they will see their father again. And that’s a decision the parole board is perfectly capable of making and will not take lightly. The fact that this court providing for the statutory parole eligibility date says nothing about whether he gets out. It just provides that opportunity and it’s not as thought the parole board takes that task lightly.

So I think the thing to do under these circumstances in given Mr. Jensen’s, the other aspects of Mr. Jensen’s life and in particular how his sons feel about him and the kind of parent he’s been and ask the court to set the parole date under which that section 304.06 sub one, and allow the parole board to consider his eligibility at the earliest date and take into consideration at that time, the wishes of the victims.

ritanita: Albee makes me want to puke!

donchais: Yeah, he’s a freakin’ saint.

SKelly63: Skank Jensen takes them to the jail everyday to see daddy.... bullshit, that is a huge lie!!!! I want to just go and hug, and hold David... he looks so sad.

ritanita: The victim wanted vengeance! How can he say that in front of those boys!

SeniorMoments: It's so obvious that this is a heartfelt matter for Mr. Jambois and not just some legal exercise. His passion for the truth in this case is so impressive to me. It feels so honest and real.

LinZbee: Yes, SM. And he gave the judge the right points to remember as he sentences MJ. This tragedy for all could have been so avoidable. Every time I see his son, my heart breaks. I'm sure David and Douglas will do just what Jambois said, and one day they will research the whole case and come to know that Mark killed Julie. I also know that deep down, they remember the love Julie gave them and that will help them face the truth in the future. Love never fails.

Judge: Thank you Mr. Albee. Mr. Jensen, is there anything you wish to say before sentence is pronounced?

Mark Jensen: No thank you, your honor.

Jensen decides not to speak or address the court!

Judge: Well I have sentenced scores of people to prison for murder. And when I assess the entire mountain of facts and evidence that exist in this case, I come to the conclusion that if I were to impose anything less than the maximum sentence in this case, I feel I have cheated the other people. Because your crime is so enormous, so monstrous, so unspeakably cruel, that, it, it, overcomes all other considerations. And Mr. Albee has correctly stated that there are plenty of positive factors in your background. And indeed the Supreme Court instructs us to consider a large number of factors in imposing sentence. But it is certainly the case that some crimes just are so enormous that they overcome them any of the positive factors, and this ghastly crime, is one of them. It is so saturated with malice, I mean it’s such a long standing malice. The persistent tormenting, torturing of this woman during many years.

And then when this affair started, that you contemplated and planned and plotted this cruel method of execution for so long a period of time. The wickedness and cruelty of the matter of death you elected in this case, uh, just speak to the, content of your character. There are a limited number of people who would do something like that and those people are people that we need to remove from society. To protect other people, to make an example of people who would do things like this. And ultimately to affirm the dignity of Julie Jensen’s life. That’s why you’re here today. That's why we as a society collect to dealt with transgressions like this. And I repeat that, I would feel that, when I compare the acts of others, the people who get into a ballroom brawl and pull out a gun and shoot somebody and are sent to prison for life against how you planned and executed this crime, that’s not even a comparison. And as I say, I think I would have cheated them, by sentencing them to prison for life if I don’t impose the maximum sentence in your case. So, unless there is some reason why sentence should not now be pronounced I ask that you now stand for sentence please.

Jensen stands.

EddieHaskel: Is Markie entitled to conjugal visits in prison? Ooh... he's throwing the book at 'em!

Mr. Jensen it is the sentence of the court that your custody be committed to the department of corrections for confinement in the Wisconsin’s State Prison’s without possibility of parole, for the remainder of your life. You may be seated.


Jensen’s father appears stunned; his mother I can’t read. Mark is led from the courtroom. To me, Kelly looks well, disgusted.

donchais: She's leaving for the county clerks office to file for divorce.

SKelly63: Go Judge, Go Judge, Go Judge!

ritanita: Judge, I love you! A ghastly crime, full of malice. The torture, wickedness, cruelty of death... speak to the content of Mark's character. Mark looks perturbed. LWOP!

SKelly63: God Bless Judge Schroeder. Finally some justice for Julie.

ritanita: They don't call him BRUCE THE TERRIBLE for nothing!

Skelly63: Now it's time to find out where Julie is buried, so I can go lay some flower's from her friends here.

EddieHaskel: Kelly looks like she's taking it well... now she can hurry home and call her boy-toy.

ritanita: The jurors look pleased!

kathlb: Thank God they gave him life without parole! Even the judge seemed awed by how sick and cruel he was.

SKelly63: Kelly is a shank ass pig from hell

donchais: Such a long haul, so sorry for the kids, but so pleased for Julie and her family! Jambois and Schroeder are to be commended!

The Judge leaves the bench and I can see Jambois speaking in a huddle to Julie's family. Judge Schroeder is out of his is robes and waves goodbye by. David leaves the courtroom. The camera focuses on a head shot of Detective Ratzburg, as the family leaves the courtroom.


Our Sister Julie: Memorial site

Some final thoughts for Julie Jensen's family, from LinZbee:

For Julie's brothers and family,

You were so eloquent and dignified in your final comments to the judge (and indirectly to Mark). Your love for your dear sister flowed through the courtroom to everyone there. Many of us who have followed this trial to completion were weeping as we listened to the cries from your broken hearts, and to your tender words reaching out to David and Douglas. I feel confident that one day they will be able to seek the truth of what really happened and remember the loving true Mother they had in Julie Jensen. Those early years that she sowed love and nurturing into their young lives will one day reap a harvest back to honor her memory.

"Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it."
Proverbs 22:6

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


This report has been compiled by Sprocket and donchais.

Cutts enter the courtroom and is speaking with his attorneys. The jury is not present yet. Right from the start, the attorneys request a sidebar. Patty and Audrey look very serious and tense. Now, the Judge is back on the bench.

In just a minute, the court is going to instruct the bailiff to bring the jurors back into the courtroom. The Judge speaks to the gallery. "I do not know what that verdict is. However I do need to anticipate, if the verdict is death, then the sentencing hearing will be evoked tomorrow afternoon, in Stark County courthouse. IF the verdict is not death, then the court will immediately move to sentence."

The Judge continues. "When the jury comes in, we’re going to have a departure from the normal procedures. We are going to change the procedure, only the judge will rise. No one, even the defendant will rise. If the sentence is not death, as I said we will move immediately to sentencing. I realize there be member of the family who may what t address the court according to sentencing. You will have to opportunity to do that."

"Anything that you may want to say will be limited to sentencing. If anyone wanders from that they will be cut off immediately. I won't listen to anything and you won't be in the courtroom. We will follow the same rule as at time. No one stands up or leaves, until I say soy. If anyone coughs, or anything you will be escorted out of the courtroom. At the conclusion of this again, I don't know the sentence, I would apparently be aware o the media if the sentence is not death, because if it is death, because what you may talk about is in full force and effect. Effectively what is referred to as a gag order. Is still in effect."

"At the conclusion of the sentencing I will feel sure that the family of Mr. Cuts and the family of Miss Davis and will want to talk to the media and the media will want to talk to you. There will not be any media in the courthouse or any photographs. Other than the cameras and the still cameras in the courtroom. Deputies will escort both families out of the courthouse."

"Will appreciate the cooperation of the media and the families. You all did an excellent job and should all be commended for that, and I'm sure the same thing will happen this afternoon."

Nothing else to be put on the record.

donchais and I speculate on why the judge is not letting anyone stand while the jurors come in.

The camera is focused on Cutts' face. Then the jury is being brought in.

Wonder if Bobby is going to perform his crocodile tears routine?

Judge ensures that no one has influenced them and that they have been sequestered and no outside influences. And he reads them four questions. The jurors all answer individually to each of these questions.

1. Have you been sequestered during your deliberations during the trial and the sentencing phase, so that you are free from any outside influences that may in any way influence your verdict.

2. Has anyone associated with the court had any communications with you, concerning this case, during the proceedings except here in open court, on the record?

3. Has any one except in the deliberations said anything, done anything, that tried to to attempt to influence your verdict in any way?

4. Has anyone else except the twelve main jurors participated in any way? In your deliberations?

Cuts is stoic, and stares straight ahead.

I can hear donchais is very tense and breathing heavily over the phone. She's' on the edge of her seat.

The judge reiterates that the jury has reached a verdict and they went outside for a short while with the court officers. donchais would have gone out and smoked a whole pack of cigarettes.

The judge verifies that their sequestration, they had no media access, to TV, media.

Are these verdicts all signed by all twelve of your members?

Mr. Davidson please hand me the verdict form.

donchais is ill. She's ready to throw up.

Aggravated Murder, Jessie - Life without parole for 30 full years.

Aggravated Murder, Baby Chloe Life without parole for 30 full years.

Aggravated Murder, Viable fetus Life without parole for 30 full years.

Count four: Aggravated burglary! Guilty 3-10 years.

Count five: Gross abuse of a corpse! (Jessie) Guilty 6-12 months

Count six: Gross abuse of a corpse! (Baby Chloe) Guilty 6-12 months.

Count seven: Endangering children! (Blake) 180 days.

Mack addresses the court: We understand that you have sat through both phases of this trial and heard all the mitigation evidence, you heard him express remorse. You heard he has a family. We believe aggravated charges should be run concurrently as it was a single act. All the counts should run concurrently.

Watson~ I agree with the comment and the remorse Mr. Cutts expressed is sincere. We are not trying to demean the family of Jessie and our hearts go out to them,

Ranke~ All sentences should run concurrently.

Cutts has no statement for the court. Nor does his family.

Letter read by a friend on behalf of one of Jessie's sisters~Bobby Cutts took my sister from me; you took a chink out of my heart. Jessie meant everything to me. I was adopted into the family at a very young age. I stayed with her and Blake many times. She took me to school everyday. I still wait for her, but only the bus comes.

How could you do this to Jessie and our family? How could you do this to Blake? How could you help with the search? You have destroyed so many peoples lives and especially Blake. I hope when he is older he can ask you questions and you can answer them.

Audrey~Weeping so hard she can barely speak. She went to a funeral a few days before Jessie dies and remembers saying to her I can’t imagine losing any of my brothers and sisters. I was the one who sat for hours on the porch holding Blake while he was crying and asking for his mommy and she was never coming home.

You sat there and lied. I hope one day you can look at your son and tell him the truth. I’ll just never understand that.

Ned Davis~ Don’t even look at me, just put your head down. Your honor, he violently murdered her…5’4”. Baby Chloe could have been saved. You won't give me time, (meaning the Judge) but I'd like to have so quality time with you (meaning Cutts).

Patty Porter~ I have had the conversation with you in my head a million times. This is a day I will never forget. When I walked into that room the presence of evil was so strong, I knew Jessie never walked out of that room. I serve an amazing God that forgives and restores people. I forgive you and I hope you find faith and someday tell the truth.

Patty asks that the judge allows Bobby to be free someday.

Just wow!

Dennis Barr~ 30 years to life is along time, but Bobby will have the opportunity to visit with his family. The Davis and Porter families won’t have that opportunity. They lost a daughter, a sister and a mother. Barr wants the counts to run consecutively.

Judge imposes:
Murder charge 1 - 15 years
Murder charge 2 and 3 are merged - 30 years
Count four: Aggravated burglary! -10 years.
Count five: Gross abuse of a corpse! (Jessie) -12 months
Count six: Gross abuse of a corpse! (Baby Chloe) -12 months.
Count seven: Endangering children! (Blake) 180 days concurrently served with the felonies.

57 years to run consecutively totally.

Cutts is also responsible for court costs and fines.

I have followed this case since the day Jessie went missing. I believe Cutts should rot in hell for the rest of his days. I openly wept as Jessie’s family spoke and can’t imagine how Patty had the strength to offer Cutts forgiveness; she is a far better person than I.

I accept the Judge’s sentencing and hope and pray that Jessie and Chloe are finally at peace. donchais

CNN In Session Sidebar Commentary by Beth Karas

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bobby Cutts Sentencing Phase – Day 2

Very bad weather in Ohio today.
Jessie and Cutts’ families are all present.
Juror 631, an alternate has been excused due to a family illness.

Prosecutors will close with Barr reserving time. Defense closing will be shared by Ranke and Mack. Each side will have 45 minutes to present closing. Then jury instructions will be given.

Judge polls the jury as to whether or not they have abided by the admonishment.

Wow, none of Jessie’s family or friends is called to comment!

Mr. Barr closing. You folks are the most qualified people to render a fair sentencing. We do not take it lightly and you have taken an oath to render a fair and appropriate verdict in this case.

Yesterday you heard the mitigating factors. Your final act is to render a fair and appropriate verdict based on the law the Judge gives you.

You agreed that you would consider a death sentence on the case. You found aggravating charges beyond a reasonable doubt in this case.

You found that Bobby Cutts was the principal offender and committed murders of Jessie and Chloe.

June 14th when Bobby Cutts began his conduct that led to the death of Jessie and Chloe, he made not a single effort to save the life of his daughter.

Bobby went to college, became a police officer to serve and protect the public, not to hurt it. Renee said Bobby grew up normal; he wasn’t affected by the violence in the home. There was no child abuse.

We know he was evaluated by Dr. Fabian. He took everyone at their word. He didn’t investigate anything. How much faith can you put into Dr. Fabian's report? He only spoke to people who loved Bobby.

You saw Bobby sit in the witness stand, not under oath and beg for his life. He said he would do anything to bring Jessie and Chloe back. Really? Did you Bobby? You could have walked away, but you didn’t.

You have the mitigating factors you now will go into that room and weig those against the aggravating circumstances.

You have found beyond a reasonable doubt that he took Jessie’s life and the life of his innocent daughter, who never drew a breath outside of her mother’s womb.

Bobby Cutts deserves the maximum sentence under the law of Ohio and that would be death.

Attorney Mack: During jury selection you heard me discuss the challenge of this case and the process you went through.

You concluded that Bobby Cutts did not commit aggravated murder of Jessie Davis. But, you did find he committed aggravated murder against the fetus.

Death is inappropriate in this case. Ironically the State of Ohio is asking you to do the same thing with a death sentence.

This is not about signing a piece of paper it’s about putting someone to death.

This is not about Timothy McVeigh, Saddam Hussein, Ted Bundy, the worse of the worse.

The evidence is clear this is a situation that got out of hand. And the actions taken after made it worse.

Leaving Blake unattended is not an aggravating circumstance. Bobby is still Blake’s father.

This prosecutor wants you to put Blake’s father to death. Think about Blake. What if he has questions about his father?

Yes, Bobby told lies, but these aren’t aggravating circumstances.

You have to take all of this in context. The coroner said there was no injury to the fetus.

You know up until this point, Bobby has led a significantly law abiding life.

I hope you were moved by his apology yesterday and you had a right to hear that apology and his remorse. He acknowledges and accepts the responsibility of taking the life of Jessie and Chloe. If that doesn’t move you, than nothing will.

Good people make bad decisions and a couple of minutes redefine 30 years of being a good person.

The prosecution keeps bringing up the fact that Bobby was a police officer. He and the mother of his children got into an altercation. That is not about being a police officer.

You heard his life has meaning. You heard from his family, how the depend and rely on him. It’s not about sympathy; it’s a fact.

There no sense in shattering more lives. If you think he doesn’t feel bad about what happened, then you’re wrong.

25 years to life is appropriate here. He’ll be 55 before the parole board will even look at him. This was an isolated occurrence. There is no reason to believe this type of incident would occur again.

We respect your verdict and how difficult it was to reach.
We are asking you to find the appropriate sentence.

Attorney Ranke: Thank you for your time and effort. It’s a difficult case and we ask that you consider all of what you have heard during this case.

Your task is to weigh the mitigating factors against the aggravated circumstances.

What happened in June was awful, but that’s not all there is to Bobby Cutts. The full picture of Bobby, you didn’t know before. That’s why you heard from his family.

Bobby can still be there from Brianna, and his sister and his nephew. He can’t go check on sister but he can still provide support in a limited way.

Dr. Fabian tried to give you a full picture of Bobby. He said there was no violent tendencies. Did Dr. Fabian have to go out and verify what everybody said to him? No, you heard about it from Bobby’s family.

The absence of violence of his lifetime is something you need to consider regarding those awful events in June. There was no pattern of prior violent behavior before those horrible days in June. And we are asking that you consider that.

Your role is to determine whether those 10 days outweigh thirty years of life. We are asking you to consider that.

What does he mean to his family, his children, his friends? I’m asking you to consider that.

You heard Bobby’s remorse and how sorry he is about what happened. I am asking you to consider that and to spare his life.

Mr. Barr: It’s not about 10 days in June. It’s about a lifetime of missed opportunities for Jessie and Chloe.

Mr. Mack told your there is no reason this will happen again. No kidding, Bobby fixed that when he killed Jessie and Chloe.

He sat here and cried. He didn’t have a problem taking a life, but he wants you to save his life.

After what Blake saw, when he grows up do you think he will want Bobby as a father?

Bobby Cutts had a trial, he had a jury. Jessie and Chloe didn’t have that.

The death penalty is not reserved for the likes of “Ted Bundy or John Wayne Gacy. It can be Bobby Cutts.”

What is worse than killing a mother and your own unborn child who was 2 weeks away from being born?

Despite a good background and growing up in a good family, he chose to kill Jessie and baby Chloe and for that, you should choose a sentence of death.

Judge instructs the jury. The sentence must be unanimous and the sentence may be:

Life in prison with parole in 25 years.

Life in prison with parole in 30 years.

Life in prison with no parole.

Death penalty.

Well, it’s now in the juror’s hands.


Monday, February 25, 2008

Bobby Cutts Sentencing Phase – Day 1

Jessie’s family is in court. Attorneys and Cutts are present and some of the Cutts family is in the Courtroom. Judge Brown is on the bench.

It is assumed that Cutts family members will speak on his behalf and that Cutts himself will take the stand again to plead for his life being spared.

Judge Brown is giving Cutts the charges that he was found guilty of. Cutts is stoned-faced and shows no emotion.

You have the right to appeal. Counsel will be provided without cost if you are indigent. The defense says Cutts is not indigent.

The Judge describes the procedures that will be followed. Pre-sentence report not requested by defense and no request for a mental evaluation both, could be used by the jury.

Jury is being brought into court.

Each juror has a folder that contains Preliminary Instructions, a pen and paper.

Judge polls the jury if they followed his admonishments.

Chryssa Hartnett is addressing the jury. We are here to continue our work. She is describing proof beyond a reasonable doubt. We are not retrying the case. You have already heard the testimony and seen the evidence.

You will hear much about the life of Bobby Cutts from his family. Maybe, about his upbringing. You must weigh that against the aggravating circumstances.

Hartnett calls for the death penalty.

Attorney Watson for the defense addresses the jury and asks if they can be fair in this case. Evaluate the evidence and determine the appropriate sentence in this case.

We accept and respect your verdict in this case.

We ask you to hold the state to it's burden of proof. The law itself asks for compassion and wisdom and mercy.

You need to evaluate his good deeds, his positive impact on his family.

You will hear from those who were closest to Mr. Cutts. His family, friends and colleagues.

He was gifted and talented in school. He was a good father. He was a good police officer.

You need to evaluate what is the proper sentence in this case. You will find his life is worth saving.

Very long sidebar…

State submits an exhibit and rests! Didn’t see that coming.

Cutts looking pretty pensive.

Defense calls Renee Jones. This is Bobby's mom.

She also has a daughter. She identified Cutts at the table.

Jones looks at 3 photographs and identifies them 1) Senior in high school 2) her grandchildren 3) Blake

When Bobby was a child he loved sports. He used to teach about sports. He loved to play sports and used to be the clown and have kids laughing. He was always happy.

He went to a gifted school. He got A's and B's. He was on honor roll.

He and his sister were very close. They did everything together.

He was real close to his dad. They had a falling out. Then they got close again.

During high school he played football and baseball. Everybody loved him and had a lot of friends. He sang in the church choir.

He was an ordinary kid.

After high school he had a scholarship to Walsh College. He didn't finish college because his 1st daughter was born.

There was a custody fight over Taylor. Cutts was given temporary custody.

With Blake and Brianna, he was a good father. He took them everywhere and played sports together. He was good with Blake.
Bobby was happy he had a boy.

Bobby is crying. Do we believe it's for real?

He became a police officer and I was very proud. He loved being a cop.

He used to help people. He'd take kids home at night rather than arrest them.

What impact did Bobby have on other family members? He always took charge of the situations. Nieces and nephews were crazy about him. Everybody is close to him.

Bobby became aware of the problems in your marriage. Bobby said he would never be like his father. He would never abandon his children.

Dennis Barr for the state.
You divorced your husband when Bobby was how old? 5.

Bobby didn't see any violence between you and your husband? No.

Growing up, Bobby had no mental of emotional problems?

Objection, sidebar

You took Bobby to counseling after the divorce? Yes.
He went for a couple of months.

Bobby did well in high school? Yes.

You aware he flunked algebra twice? No.

You love your grandchildren? Yes.

You love Blake? Yes.

You would have loved Chloe? If she was my grandbaby.

You heard in court that she was Bobby's. Objection...Sustained.

No further questions.

Watson: Prosecutors asked about your relationship with your husband? Yes.

Bobby never saw any of the violence.

Witness excused.

Defense attorney Mack calls Kathleen Purdy. She works for the public school as a teacher and taught Bobby Cutts.

She identifies Cutts in the court.

She taught Bobby in 4th grade. He was a very responsive student. He was optimistic and a hard worker. He enjoyed recess. I was quite impressed.

His attitude to authority was always good. His nickname was "Gobble".

He peers saw him as a buddy and a friend. If he had to tell on them they were fine with that.

Academically, he could achieve high grades.

She went to a baseball game and met his father and mother at the game.

She saw him through the other 3 years at that school.

She attended his graduation.

She maintained a relationship with him through college and after he became a police officer, he came and spoke to her class.

Once he became a police officer he would come back to the school? Yes. He would also come back to drop off tickets for sports events for kids who were well in class.

Would he take students to see certain court proceedings? No.

Her husband had leukemia and he passed away. Bobby called her and left a message to she how she adjusting and getting along. Even Bobby's folks sent a card.


Tell me are you aware of how significant you have been in Mr. Cutts' life? Yes, I believe in teaching the whole person. I believe I have been a mentor.

Done, state has no questions.

Witness excused.

Next defense witness is Next witness Devonna Cutts, Bobby's sister.

She identifies Cutts.

She and Bobby are 4 years apart. As kids, Bobby would tell her what to do. She played basketball and ran track. Bobby would come to her games. He would push her in sports and school.

After your parents divorce what was your relationship with your father? It wasn't really a relationship. Bobby stepped up and acted like a dad.

She talked about problems with Bobby. He wasn't happy when she got pregnant. Her son is named Robert. Bobby was disappointed that she was pregnant and was upset with her. He wanted more for her, but then he came around and bought the first "everything" for the baby.

Bobby is a good dad to his 2 daughters. They have a good relationship with him.

She says Bobby is a good dad to Blake. Blake always wanted to be with Bobby. She would have to bribe him with food to get him to stay with her.

Bobby helped her with Robert because her husband was in jail. If Robert was misbehaving, Bobby would straighten him out.

Robert talks to Bobby on the phone and has seen him in jail a couple times.

When she lived on her own, Bobby used to come by and check on them.

Bobby has always been there for me. We've always been close. He's always been concerned about me.

No further questions. No questions from the state.

Witness excused.

Next witness is Lamar Sharp? (missed the name)

They met 9 years ago. They both took the police exam together. They are good friends.

He says Bobby is a very silly guy. Real funny and full of life. They played semi pro ball together.

As a police officer Bobby never took any real serious. There was always a lighter side to it.

He saved someone's life who was about to jump off a bridge.

He says Cutts is a good police officer.

Bobby is the type of person who would be there for you.

Their kids know each other. He was a good father to his children.
Their families would socialize.

Watson, joking with Sharp, asked if Bobby ever beat him in X-Box video games. Sharp, reluctantly, says yes. Watson laughed._Sharp say it not uncommon for police officers to visit other people to play video games or relax on lunch breaks.

Bobby is a good guy, we always joke with each other.

We kinda have a bond.

Did Bobby save your life? We confronted a suspect who was shooting a gun in the air. He tried to leave in the car and Bobby got him out of the way of the guy’s car.

Bobby always does a lot of coaching in the community for kids.

No further questions.

Hartnett says you said it’s not uncommon to go to somebody's house at lunchtime? Right.

It is uncommon to stay for several hours though, right? You have to check in and ask for lunch break.

You weren't there when Bobby stopped the person from jumping off the bridge? No, I wasn't

Where you aware that Mr. Cutts got reprimanded for putting his hand over someone's mouth?



No further questions.

Witness dismissed.

Next witness is Larry Davidson. Cutts is his cousin. He identifies Cutts in court.

Larry says Bobby is like his brother. They attended school together. They had a lot of fun growing up. They remain close as adults.

Larry closer to Bobby than anybody else. They spoke 4-5 times a week.

Larry says Bobby is a good father. The kids loved their dad. They always listened to him.

Mother and sister love and look up to Bobby.

Carlotta is Larry's sister and she is close to Bobby also.

Since June you haven't been able to do some of things you used to do? Yes its like a big piece of my heart is gone. I try to find other things to do. Things haven’t been the same. It hurts.

All done; witness dismissed.

Witness up next is Jennifer Peterson. She identifies Cutts in the court.

They were coworkers at the Home Energy Assistance Program. Cutts worked there in the winter when he was off-duty.

She told him that she likes football and knew he played ball. She met Bobby's mom.

She is still friends with Bobby; she was sending cards to Bobby's family and had them delivered to Bobby. She writes to Bobby in jail once a week. Was sending words of encouragement.

She was hit by a drunk driver who drove her to another town and dumped her in a field. She suffered multiple, severe, permanent injuries. She was bedridden so he pleaded out because she couldn't attend the hearings.

She was angry with the drunk driver, but has since forgiven him.

She told that story with Bobby so he would understand she could see both sides of the incident. He was appreciative that she told him. She shared that story with Bobby 4 days ago.

She wanted Bobby to understand how powerful forgiveness is.

She says Bobby misses his family very much. He has caused them pain. He knows he made a mistake.

No further questions.

State has no questions.

Witness dismissed.

Judge asks to see counsel for sidebar.

Defense calls Bobby Cutts, Sr.

He identifies his son in court.

His relationship with Bobby as a child was great. He was a wonderful child.

The divorce was because he was drinking and gambling. Bobby probably was aware of some of the violence. He didn't like it.

Bobby was active in sports. The dad coached baseball for 12 years and took Bobby to the games.

As Bobby got older he became his own man, but if he needed advice, he knew I was there.

All the kids looked up to him and his accomplishments.

Bobby means the world to me. His heart is so open. He would give you the shirt off his back.

State asks about the problems between he and Renee. There was domestic violence. Yes.

Child abuse? Never.

Witness released.

Next witness Kelly Schaub. This is Bobby's ex-wife.

She met Bobby the summer of 2000. They'd she each other out and started talking and it grew into a relationship. She was pregnant and owned a house. So Bobby moved in.

She was worried about her parents because of the race issue, Kelly is white and they weren't married.

Bobby met Kelly's parents and they got along very well.

They married right after Brianna was born.

Kelly knew about Taylor before they started dating.

Bobby was a good father with Taylor. He spent as much time with her as he could.

Taylor's mother left the state to escape Bobby. She says Bobby has a darker side.

When Brianna was born, he took care of her when Kelly was working. He'd get her up and feed and bathe her.

He was a good father to both girls. Taylor was older and Bobby was always asking about what she was doing in school.

2001, he started as a police officer. That led to side jobs.
Did you have fights about how much he worked?

Did he take good care of you financially? Yes.
Brianna? Yes.
Taylor? Yes when he could.

As a family, he would always want to take trips to the park.

Bobby was great with the kids in the community. He did a lot of coaching. He played sports with the kids.

Bobby was proud to be Blake's father.

She remains friends with Bobby today. She and Brianna visit Bobby in jail. Brianna misses her dad. She is very close to Bobby.

Even in jail he fathers her. He asks what she learned at school. Who she plays with? Yes.

He stills smiles and laughs with her.

Kelly says she still wants Cutts to be in Brianna's life.

Her relationship with Bobby has grown during this time. They talk about faith and church together.

No further questions.

Hartnett asks how Bobby likes to spend time with Brianna and he did everything you asked with her. He never left Brianna alone for long periods of time, like he did with Blake? No.

Your heard Bobby's testimony of the sequence of events? Yes.

And isn't it true...Objection, sidebar.

No further questions.

Mack asks what were her thoughts about Bobby leaving Blake alone. I thought he would never do something like that.

So in all those years of parenting, he never did anything like that? No.

Witness dismissed.

Defense calls Dr. John Fabian. He is a clinical psychologist as well as a forensic psychologist.

He is giving his CV.

This ought to be a pip when he gets to Cutts' evaluation.

Fabian has served as a mitigation witness 40-50 times to offer testimony.

Mitigation usually works for the defense because the prosecution has aggravated circumstances to their benefit. Mitigation is part of the state statute.

He is not here to support Cutts, but to provide the jury with facts about Cutts' background, the crime and Cutt's state of mind in order to help the jury reach their sentencing.

Cutts had a prior evaluation for the custody case. Both he and Nikki were evaluated in Taylor's case.

He interviewed Cutts and his family and reviewed the type of violence in this case and put Bobby through some tests.

Do you have an opinion as to mitigating factors...Objection, sidebar

BTW, this day is all about Cutts. Jessie's family will only get to speak once the jury makes a decision as to the sentence.

Cutts Sr. had gambling and drinking issues and abuse of his wife that led to divorce and estrangement from the children.

Those issues affect the children who have witnessed them.

Bobby struggled with the estranged relationship with his father. Today the relationship is still damaged.

Bobby disclosed that he didn't want to be like his father. He didn't want to divorce and he wanted to be active in his children's lives more than his father was in his.

There is no prior history of violent behavior.

The testing that was done on Bobby showed no history of mental illness.

There was no indication of mental impairment.

He does have elevated level anxiety scale and violence or aggressive behavior level scale. Neither were that high.

He testifies that there is no prior violent history in Cutts.

Based on all of his findings Fabian does not believe Cutts presents any likely hood of violent behavior.

Fabian says that Bobby doesn't present with a future violent behavior activity issue.

Bobby is not considered anti-social or a psychopathic from his history.

He is considered to be reactive in terms of what happened with Jessie. It is not chronic.

Barr on cross...
You provide the tests and a report? Yes.
You don't provide mitigating factors, that's up to the jury? Correct.

Did you verify the police reports? No.
Do you have the ability to do that? That's provided by counsel.

Cutts was pretty successful up to this point in his life? Yes.

Reactive violence can lead to murder? Yes.

Is part of your report based on his positive behavior in the jail? That would be part of it.

You are aware that Cutts is not the general public of the jail, that he is segregated? Yes.

Wouldn't you say that would affect his behavior in jail? Yes.

Barr is tearing Fabian up on the lies Cutts told, the fact that he participated in the search and didn't tell police where the body was. That he is a liar yet; he believed what Bobby told him in interviews.

You saw his personnel file from the police department? Yes.

Your report says he has an unblemished personnel record. Yes.

He is shown a document that shows the incident where Cutts was reprimanded.

So that could be considered a blemish on his record? It could be.

Inflated self-esteem, grandiosity and high opinion of self-abilities are shown in the report. Yikes!

Wow, Barr really did his homework on Fabian's report!

No further questions.

Ranke~ Cutts doesn't have any personality disorders? Correct.

Reactive violence isn't just related to murder, it could be manslaughter, right? Yes.

Cutts told you what he did in this case? Yes. Most homicides the person doesn't admit to the murder until further along.

Do you believe Mr. Cutts has been untruthful with you? No, he has admitted to this all along.

Did you make a finding that Mr. Cutts would be a low risk for future violent behavior? Correct.

No further questions.

Barr wants to know if Fabian knew of other sexual partners. He knew of Stephanie, but you have no others in your report? No, I don't

The job of a police officer is stressful? Correct. They get called names? Yes.

You knew Bobby lied to the police? Yes.
Did you ever buy a house? Yes.
Did you take the home oweners word on everything? No.

Because it's good to verify things? Yes.

Ranke~ Did you believe Bobby was deceptive to you? No. I think he was being pretty honest with me.

Witness dismissed.

Cutts on the stand!

Cutts apologizes for reading a statement. He doesn't want to loose his words. He wanted to go to college. He wanted to be mayor.
He had a child so he decided to take responsibility. He instilled that in Brianna and in Blake.

He always loved being around and working with kids.

He cannot explain what happened in June. It's a nightmare that will haunt me all of my days. Words can't explain the death of Jessie and my unborn daughter.

I am so sorry for Patty and Mr. Davis and ask forgiveness for the pain I caused you and the rest of your family.

I apologize to the community.

I apologize and ask forgiveness for what I did to Blake. I thank god for taking care of Blake all those long hours.

He apologizes to his family and friends. To Myisha and her family.

I hope to maintain a relationship with my family and my children.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I'm asking you to spare my life.

I have absolutely no compassion for this pond scum. He's really playing to the jury. He must have a cold again because I don't see any tears.

Jury is given a packet similar to the package to the one when deliberations began. They need to bring their luggage tomorrow. The prosecution will offer their closing tomorrow and you will then begin sentencing deliberation.

Jury needs to be in the jury area at 8:15am.
Judge reads the admonishment and releases the jury for day.

Well that’s it till tomorrow!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Spector & the "Child Bride" on the Red Carpet

Updated! is reporting:
Wearing a modified "Golden Girl" chestnut brown wig, lady killer Phil Spector, 68, perkily appeared at a red carpet event in Beverly Hills this week with his living 27-year-old blonde wife, Rachelle -- who happens to look shockingly like the late Lana Clarkson. He's unbeweaveable! He's got killer taste in blondes!

We've all seen Rachelle Short's inappropriate behavior and attire in the courtroom, ~looks like the child bride is still stuck on cheap gold lame~ so this latest stunt by the bought and paid for spouse comes as no surprise. Man! Those chicklets sure do take up some space on the photo don't they? Rachelle, I recommend you go back to your fix-it dentist and get a redo.

Special thanks to kathlb for the heads up on this story!
Update: 7:11 pm

OMG! Michelle at MControl Blogs has some links up on her site! They are photographs of Rachelle's "somewhat" tasteful T&A shots that you can find here and also a calendar, here.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Drew Peterson: Kathleen Savio's Death Ruled a Homicide!

This news is just in. Kathleen Savio's death has been reclassified as a homicide.

is reporting:
Will County States Attorney James Glasgow announced today that his office has received the final report on the autopsy performed on the remains of Kathleen S. Savio on Nov. 13, 2007.

Dr. Larry W. Blum, the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy, concludes in his report that the actual cause of Kathleen Savio's death was drowning and that the legal manner of death was homicide. Dr. Blum's report was delivered to the Will County Coroners Office on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008 and immediately forwarded to the Will County States Attorneys Office and the Illinois State Police.

Fox is also reporting that a Grand Jury has been investigating the disappearance of Drew Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy, as well as the death of Kathleen Savio since November, 2007.

Donchais says, "The fact that this scumbag is still walking the streets just boggles the mind." Now that the cororner's office is finally calling Kathleen's death murder, how long is it going to take to get Peterson arrested? Come on grand jury! This should be the last piece of evidence you need to hand down an indictment.

Mark Jensen Guilty and Jurors Speak

February 21, 2008

Jurors inteview:

None of them believed Aaron Dillard. His statements had minimal weight. Past initial statement on crystals, they didn't buy anything he said. They don't believe Julie died by suffocation! Only EG. (That's really interesting!)

Mark didn't get her help!

They laugh about the toxicologists.

Markie did himself in and Ratzburg's interview did the trick!

He cooked his own goose!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ha! It was Mark who convinced them the most. I love that. True justice is sweet!

The jury foreman said the jury was pushed over the edge with the penis and vagina comparisons.

Said that Mark looking at them in the jury box creeped them out.

Mark in court and on video was cold and unemotional.

Wow, the jury liked Albee very much! They felt that if they were ever in trouble, they would want Albee representing them. They also said that both attorneys did a very good job and were very professional. They loved Judge Schroeder.

Foreperson says the splitting off of the 7 alternates was like saying goodbye to family. They will have a reunion very soon. All the alternates agreed with the guilty vote.

Thanks ritanita and LinZbee!

Well folks, thats it. It was a long and winding road and we hope you enjoyed the coverage!
As an aside, the jury foreman was an engineering assistant, and the alternate who spoke out for guilty was an engineer.
See you at the Cutts mitigation on Monday!

Jensen Murder Trial Verdict

Holy cow, verdict is in!!!!! Will be read in 8 minutes.
I knew it would be today!

They have removed Mark's handcuffs and leg irons.

Justice for Julie's family!

Mark looks like he's gonna cry! He looks like a deer caught in the headlights! His mom looks dumbfounded!

Judge Schroeder thanks the jury!

Per Jambois, revoke bail now. Would like Jensen sentenced now. Sentence would be life in prison. Until the children are notified, the Judge states that he will hold off sentencing
till next week. We will have a sentencing date tomorrow!

Mark Jensen Murder Trial: Day 32, Deliberations Day Three

Day 32 - 2/21/08

Update 2!
Verdict watch: Deliberations Day Three

9 :10 am
The jury wants Aaron Dillard statement written by Gretchen Rosenke, however, the Judge strikes her name and writes in ASST. DA, Ms. Gabriele.

Albee argues that the Jury will be confused that Rosenke has been stricken. Judge tells Albee tough, the jury is intelligent.

The attorneys want to go back to the hotel and the judge says no, he wants them in the courthouse. If the jury orders food, he will let them go back to the hotel.

Stay tuned!

Commentary Update: 10:30 am
Sprocket here. What the fork is up with the WISN cameraman? Why the quick roller coaster ride around the courtroom every once in a while? donchais thinks it's an actual "service" to us because he's letting us all know he's awake and that we're still really in court.

Donchais would really like him to put up a sign every once in a while, like, "Nothing new here!" Or maybe a weather report, or any silly sign just to entertain her. I guess all those tips in The Verdict Watch Handbook for Dummies haven't helped.

So tell us, how is everyone else staying "sane" out there while we all wait for a verdict? Here's something donchais wanted to share with everyone on jury watch with us.
Update 2: 1:25pm

The jury wants Margaret and Ted Vojt's statements and transcripts. They are not in evidence so the jury can't get them.


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