Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mark Jensen Murder Trial Day 26

Day 26 – 2/13/08

Dr. Rumack is not here today. His lawyer sent a letter. Lawyer is Mr. Jeff Springer. Jambois wants to talk to co-counsel about having him here in court. Albee claims Rumack was "forgetful."

Albee whines to the judge. Judge says it's up to the jury that he "forgot" $10,000; it's their decision.

Jambois acknowledges he received more money but that the letter is self-serving. He is a reasonable person, but he wants to hear from the lawyer.

Rumack would prefer not to testify at all, even by telephone. Jambois wants to call Springer right now in court!

Wow! Fireworks very, very, early today.

Judge willing to consider options. Dr. Rumack should have been questioned on re-direct.

Judge: people deal with this all the time! People come in here saying the most bizarre things and lying about the amount of money they receive... clear BIAS.

Albee points out he couldn't do it on re-direct because he didn't know how much he had been paid since 2002 and 2003!

The judge repeats that Albee should have been ready for this question. Mentions that he made a face during his testimony because Rumack was deliberately being EVASIVE.

Albee whines about evasiveness of prosecution witnesses...

Why do I get the feeling that the judge wasn't just referring to Dr. Rumack. I think he's still ticked off about Dr. Spiro, big time.

Mark one up for me! The judge just mentioned Dr. Spiro's evasiveness! OK ritanita, got it marked!

And Albee is trying to say Rumack wasn't evasive.

Jambois admits that the judge did "slap down" Dr. Long about being evasive.

Jambois indicates that Dr. Rumack came across and having been "bought and paid for."

Speaker Phone: Shade of Phil Spector!

Phone call to Mr. Springer

Judge begins and says they are in open court with both attorneys.

Albee indicated that the Court wanted Dr. Rumack to come back. Is this for additional testimony? Yes.

He wants to have an understanding of the circumstances. Rumack already testified. Is there an issue about the money he received? No, about how he testified to the amount of money.

Albee called and found about 2 $5000 checks.

Springer: Not unusual someone wouldn't remember...

Judge: It's not unusual?

Springer: It was a couple of years ago, he forgot. When do you want him back?

Judge: Tomorrow.

Springer: Needs more time to arrange

Judge: Tomorrow

Springer: Scheduling not an easy task. Can he testify by phone?

Jambois: He's seriously considering phone testimony. Influencing factor is Dr.'s schedule for Thursday or Friday. He's retired. He doesn't have surgery...

Springer: Today would have been difficult...

Jambois: Points out Wisconsin law... he doesn't have transcript of client's testimony. Will have it tomorrow. Suggests Rumack was devious in his testimony. Inclination is to have him here in person, but if there is a problem....

Arrangements one way or another will be made today.

Albee brings up Rhonda Mitchell's perjury. The judge says she was produced.

Jambois doesn't believe the "perjury" info was major testimony.

Judge doesn't think the situations were parallel.

Jury comes in.

First witness: Daun Cooper, works for Stifel in St. Louis, lives in Illinois. Worked there 11 1/2 years previously, 1 1/2 years now. Sales assistant to a broker. She has a Series 7 license.

Worked at the company in 1998 (started 1988). She was in same position then and worked on the transition team.

In '98 she was in Appleton, to open a new office. Also in Oskosh.

Attended Blueprint Conference: Nov. '98

She knew Ed Klug when the office opened in Appleton. She'd met him there twice, before the Blueprint Conference.

She doesn't think she'd met Mark Jensen until the Blueprint Conference.

Dinner held for the brokers and some others. Several hundred people attend. That year it was a Friday night and she didn't attend. She thinks it was at the Marriott in St. Louis where the conference took place.

She went downstairs to the bar after the dinner. There were 200-300 (not sure) people in the bar. She was there, Ed Klug, Mark Jensen, Kelly LaBonte and her then, husband. She stayed unto 2 AM. There weren't many people left then. Maybe between 25-and 50? Mr. Jensen and Mr. Klug were still there.

They left the bar and went out to the seating area. Ron Wruck may have been with them. There may have been one other person.

They were concerned about her driving and had taken her keys and they talked until she sobered up enough to drive. Ron Wruck possible left earlier than the rest. Kelly had taken her keys earlier but by now she had left.

Best she can remember, it was the 3 of them left talking. They talked for at least an hour. They talked about business, the firm, personal things (her divorce - she was upset that evening). She doesn't recall anything else. They didn't talk specifically about Klug or Jensen's marriages. Mr. Klug left to talk to his wife at one point. He returned at some point. She drove home about 3 and 3:30 AM.

At no point did Mark Jensen say anything about harming his wife. Never mentioned using a computer to find ways to harm his wife. She would absolutely remember if she had.

She was good friends with Kelly and she would have been worried for her if Mark had talked about that because Mark and Kelly were "friends" at the time.

She didn't know they were having an affair. She knew they talked frequently. She had been friends with Kelly for "a while." Kelly hadn't been at the firm for that long... possibly since the summer.

She is certain about the fact Mark never mentioned harming his wife.

When she left, she felt safe to drive and Mark gave her the keys. Klug and Jensen went to the door with her. There was discussion about her driving. Mark offered to get her a room and she declined.

She and Kelly talked after Mark was arrested. She was in Rockford. Ed Klug called her with news; she hung up to talk to Kelly. Ed never mentioned the conversation he claimed to have with Mark.

She and Ed kept in touch by cell phone (fellow brokers) and Ed never mentioned any conversation with Mark after Mark was charged in 2002.

She was contacted in July 2007 about this case. (Probably July 27) A girl she worked with called and said someone called at the office trying to find her. She called the DA's office. Put on speakerphone with the lady who called office and the DA. They wanted to know what she knew about the conversation. She said she didn't.

She was told it was a murder investigation and was she sure she didn't remember. She said, "No, she didn't."

The last time she spoke with Kelly was when Mark Jensen was charged. They had dinner and talked. She talked and e-mailed her for a while. Later, she tried to send her an e-mail and it was sent back. Fall 2002 - early 2003 since she had contact with her.


Could she have left before 3:00? Doesn't think so.

Jambois mentions she had been drinking. She says that Kelly took the keys between 12 and 1 AM. (She argued that she could drive), she had 1-2 more drinks after Kelly took the keys. She was emotional about the breakup of her marriage. She was venting to Mark, Kelly, couple of other people.

She doesn't remember what she said, but she can say what some of her complaints about ex-husband. He was stubborn, didn't want to talk. He liked to push her buttons. Some of the others were empathetic and made comments. "I don't want to do this, I don't know how to be single (after 10 years)." The others started talking about their spouses. Jambois: War stories about spouses? When she left, she left the seating area. She'd been drinking water, the bar was closed. She remembers leaving about an hour after the bar closed.

When she left, Ed and Mark were there and they walked her to the door. She doesn't know what happened after she left.

Kelly never told her about the affair with Mark until Jan. 1999, or some time after Julie's death. (Can't ask how she found out about the affair - hearsay).


There was no conversation with Klug about affair with secretary, jealous wife. She remembers what she was talking about and they were airing general grievances about their wives? Yes.

She thinks she'd remember such a conversation even though she had a lot to drink. No blackouts! Absolutely would remember if Mark had talked about harming wife.

Re: Conversation with DA.
She wasn't told that there was a conversation that they were investigating.

The DA's office answered when she asked them to be more specific.

They wanted to know if she was present during the conversation.


The Judge says that in the Rhonda Mitchell testimony, Mr. Montgomery came on stand to testify to her lie on the stand. Dr. Rumack has to come back and testify himself. He's not saying he is dishonest, but he has to testify. He will be there tomorrow.

The prosecution will have a rebuttal case. If defense rests today, they could be finished with it tomorrow. They discuss closing arguments

Albee may want to call sur-rebuttal witness or two.

Jambois wants billing info on Dr. Spiro!

Monday, closing arguments, jury instructions. Strike jury members who won't deliberate. Judge feels bad about that; he never thought it would happen. He's very complimentary of the jury and their dedication.

OMG! It's almost over!

Couple of more defense witnesses to dump on Dillard. Short rebuttal and possibly short sur rebuttal. Closing arguments may be MONDAY!

Witness: Dr. John Scott Denton, physician as a coroner's forensic pathologist in central Illinois (Bloomington, Peoria). He gives his CV.

He gave a speech on Fentenol poisoning

Ethylene Glycol poisoning study for deaths in Cook County over 10 years. Pulled files from their database to determine what was common or uncommon. They determined category of deaths.

Suicide - majority of the 35
Homicide - none
Accidental - alcoholics used it as substitute
Undetermined - 1 or 2 due to conflicting information

Opiate - deaths due to heroin

Review of strangulation cases in Cook County

Other overdose-type reviews

Peer-review journal articles

He's testified 250-300 times, 99% prosecution.

He was asked to review documents from Julie's autopsy and doctor a police reports, transcript between Jensen and "Rosenberger" (sic), recent, new information, autopsy and scene of death photos.

Likes to take pictures of clothed body in body bag and undressed body, front and back. If anything suspicious, close up and distance photos.

Okay, he's here to say the pictures were amateur. Kenosha is no Cook County...

In Cook County: One picture for ID, anything else at coroner's discretion.

He reviewed Dr. Chambliss' report:

Photos taken by Sgt. Ratzburg - Cook County uses dedicated photographers, or autopsy assistant. They use dedicated photographers because taking autopsy pictures is very difficult. Even this doctor can't take pictures as good as they can.

External examination: found a few minor blunt trauma injuries, lists 4 external evidence of injuries. Injury - any injury, scrape, trauma to the body. Chambliss noticed 8x2 cm. bruise over right buttock with small abrasion. There is no photo from the scene of this bruise. He thinks it has nothing to do with cause of death. Looks like she hit a table or something.

4x2 cm. bruise up near hip region of buttock - similar to first bruise

Superficial bruise on right shin, over knee - common bump injury

Superficial curved abrasion over thyroid cartilage - yellow brown appearance. No picture of it in autopsy photos.

No autopsy photos prior to incision - these should have been done if they suspected strangulation.

Significance of this abrasion - looks like an impression mark, small, linear, no bruising underneath

Obvious concern if it is a fingernail mark, especially if bruising or bleeding underneath, which there wasn't.

Timing of this abrasion - only clue is yellow-brown color, older, but not how old. Could have occurred after death, as in the moving of the body.

Internal evidence of injury: Chambliss says "none" You list evidence.
(Chambliss also trained in Cook).

Evidence of medical attention: EKG monitor pads. One photograph showed one pad on right chest wall. Did not see other two on chest.

Position of body in bed: She was lying on bed face down with arm under the body on her left side.

Given the position of the body, she would have had to been moved to place pads on body.

Internal Examination: Observations of significance? Yes, underlying soft tissue hemorrhage (area under ribs).

Would that small amount of hemorrhage have a pattern? Looked like rectangular areas of congestion and soft tissue bleeding. Could be caused by livermortis after death when a person is laying face down. (Blood pooling after death) He says it doesn't look like an injury.

He indicated that if you are dying from EG poisoning, this could happen just by the person lying there. This is to a reasonable level of medical certainty!

This is contrary to prior testimony that the damage came from pressure on her arm.

He doesn’t think the arm caused the hemorrhage.

Dr. Denton shown autopsy photo of rib hemorrhages.

The picture is straight down, best position for taking the picture. He describes them all. He says that the arm does not come into play because he can't place her arm along them all.

This witness is quite good. He's sounding logical and professional. The test will come on cross, as it did with Dr. Rumack, who also came across as scholarly, logical, and professional on direct examination.

Denton points out other hemorrhages that are not noted in the autopsy notes.

He says that this is also due to pooling of the blood, especially someone who is poisoned.

Neck Organs: In strangulation, they tend to look for damage to the strap muscles. Chambliss did not notice any. Cartilage and hyoid bone not damaged. No bite marks to tongue, which is common in strangulation. Suffocation is different. Will usually not see bite marks.

Respiratory System: Normal, healthy lungs of a non-smoking person. No aspirated food material. She didn't vomit nor did someone try to force her to take something.

Cardio-vascular System: Multiple petechias.

Spleen and lymph nodes normal.

Gastro-intestinal System: Congestion or hemorrhage in back not necessarily due to trauma.

Dr. Denton tends to think all physical bruises and internal "damage" is NOT due to strangulation, suffocation.

Post-Mortem Artifacts: Eyes can be congested with blood from being face down. Bodies are turned face-up in morgue to prevent this.

Most of what they have been discussion can be due to post-mortem artifacts occurring after her death from EG poisoning, due to be laying face down after death.

Chambliss notes that the stomach is markedly distended (reads contents). Denton says the stomach is actually extending into the pelvis. This is very unusual. Her stomach isn't emptying, it's holding on to it and is extending and stretching.

Genito-Urinary System:

Kidneys are very congested. General part of the dying process. Kidneys: congestion noted externally and internally.

Musculoskeletal system: Mentions rib damage. They are not fractured. Buttock bruises, right shin.

Albee questioning Denton.

Prominent congestion over the tops of the 2 hemispheres in Chamblss' report.

Fatty liver noted? Yes. Alcohol could cause that.
Would it slow down metabolism? It would have to be severe fatty liver.

Do any of these findings suggest a suffocation death? No. Suffocation will cause swelling of the brain.

Observation of the face in the report no hemorrhage of the eyes. The nose appears normal and midline.

Albee shows the photos of Julie with her nose in the pillow. Julie's nose at the scene shows Julie's appears bent. Denton says it's from the weight of the pillow.

You can push your nose with your finger? Yes, quite easy.

The weight of Julie's neck and head in that position would push her nose aside.

Denton doesn't see anything suggesting stronger force in the pictures to cause damage.

Did you read Aaron Dillard's report? Yes.
The claim that Mark sat on Julie's back and pushed her head into the pillow, if it was done forcefully, I wouldn't expected to see damage.

If the person was fighting back, I would expect to see some damage.

If Mark sat on her back, Denton would expect to see purge fluid on the pillow.

No reports mention fluid on the bed or Julie's clothing? No.

Did you review Dr. Long's report? Yes.
The report stated there was a large amount of ethylene glycol in the stomach? Yes I read that and that what I was specifically looking at. Denton says he disagrees with Long's statement.

Julie's cause of death would be from ethylene glycol according to Denton.

Dr. Long concluded Julie died shortly after the administration of the ethylene glycol.

Denton says 1/2 teaspoon would not cause the death that quickly.

Dr. Long said Julie would have been too weak to ingest that amount of ethylene glycol without assistance.

Denton couldn't say what Dr. Long was saying, but he doesn't agree with it.

Basically Albee is walking Denton through Dr. Long's report and having Denton testify that he is not in agreement with anything in the report.

Denton prepared a report in this case in 2004. His opinion is that Julie died from ethylene glycol poisoning.

December 1-2 Julie was acting intoxicated as he read in reports.

No evidence of single dose killing her. Family said she was drinking water and there could have been residual EG in the glass.

24-48 hours prior to her death was the initial ingestion. He said there wasn't EG in the brain and blood stream.

Gastric contents green color comes from possibly from bile.

The value of EG in her blood and stomach are small and not consistent to a second large dose as stated.

Stomach emptying slows considerably in poisoning.

Can someone be forced to drink EG and not spill it on the clothing and bedding? There was no spilling on the bedding and no aspiration according to the autopsy.

Could Julie have used the computer on December 2-3? Nothing to say for sure that she can’t based on the level of EG.

Denton sees no urine staining on the bad so Denton believes she could have gotten up to go to the bathroom.

The bruising on Julie's body looks like normal bruising from falling down rather than being struck.

Denton has to do several autopsies tomorrow and Jambois may not be done with him. Schroeder says he has to deal with the matters at hand. He tells Denton, "Well, they're not going anywhere!" Cute!

Denton says he found Julie's letter contrived and self-serving. He said he didn't think the letter was true, looking at it as a devils advocate.

Dr. Borman was the family doctor and wrote to police asking why he wasn't notified of Julie's death and manner of death.

Denton thinks the call to Margaret Wojt saying don't worry if you don't see me outside today was odd.

Denton testifying about what Julie said to different people. He says her statements are inconsistent.

Julie had conversations with police officer and stated she thought her husband was trying to kill her. The police never investigated. Denton says this course is odd. This behavior and Julie knowing about Mark's affair she could have been setting up Mark if she planned to commit suicide.

Denton thinks the manner of death should have been left open. He leans more to suicide as cause of death.

Move along Mr. Albee...he's rehashing the stuff we just covered 45 minutes ago!


So did you read Klug's testimony from 2007? Yes.
Klug's sworn testimony is Mark Jensen told him he found ways to kill his wife on the internet, with a drug that is not normally looked for in autopsy and crystallizes the body from inside out? Yes.

And the drug you are talking about if used that's exactly what would happen? Yes, that is true.

Denton is saying he is aware of Klug's wife testimony? Yes.
Denton is aware of communication between Mark and Kelly LaBonte where Kelly gave Mark a deadline.

Denton wrote the report in 2004 and now he has reconsidered because there were 2 additional witnesses in the 2007 hearing.

Denton is now being forced to admit that the defense did not give him a lot of the information that has come into testimony.

Denton says he would expect he would have been complete information.

If all that is true, yes, I would lean toward homicide, Denton says.

Were you told that the police suspected that Mark was torturing his wife psychologically for years because of a brief affair she had.

What I have just told you is certainly a motive for Mark Jensen to kill his wife. If what you have said id true, yes.

As for timing, everyone in Mark's office says he didn't come in to work on Dec. 3rd, wouldn't that give him time to do all the things? Yes, it could.

Would you agree that your assessment of Julie's letter is unfair? Yes.

You have an ethical obligation to testify truthfully? Yes.
You have an ethical obligation to the decedent? Yes.

Dr. Chambliss saw the photos of Julie for the first time here during his testimony? No.

You read Dillard's letter? Yes.
You are aware that Mark told him he rolled Julie on to her side and shoved her face and neck into the pillow and sitting on her back? Yes.

The photo is consistent with that, isn't it? It could be. What Aaron Dillard wrote is his letter is consistent with the photo.

Hemorrhaging in the chest photo shown. Jambois points out that it is on an angle. Denton says that’s because of the angle of the picture. He's not going from the arm under her body thing.

Mr. Jambois says, "Would that jump out to you as a murder plot?"

"Yes, if I saw that list, I'd be very concerned about my safety."

Quote of the day: Dr. Denton upon viewing Julie's photograph of Mark's list.

Jambois is going over Julie's letter again. He shows Denton the list with syringe, razor, etc.

Would that scream murder at you? Yes, it could. The part where Julie says she doesn't know what it means is what is unbelievable to me.

Jambois is going through each item and says on their own, they are not unusual.

Now, syringe is very different. Yes, that would concern me. Bag hangs would also be bothersome.

Denton is now basically agreeing with Jambois.
Denton appears to be getting pretty disturbed that he's been used by the defense and being made to look foolish.

I believe that he is very ethical and this must be embarrassing.

Looking over the past few days, Jambois has pretty much sunk each of the defense experts.

The liver in this case doesn't show Julie had a slowed metabolism? No.

When Julie died there was 55 micrograms/ml of EG in her blood. You know she was alive the morning of her death. She died sometime between noon and 4pm, correct? Yes.

Intoxication symptoms started at 2am the night before, correct? Yes.

So she ingested EG the latest at 1pm? Yes that's correct.

Then on December 3rd at 2am the EG should be all gone, right? That follows the textbooks, yes.

The outer edge that EG stays in the blood stream 25 hours and the inner edge is 15 hours? Yes.

There is no indication that Julie didn't have a normal metabolic system. No.

So, the initial dose of EG had to have been before 12/2.

You wrote a report in 2004. In report you said Julie died from a dose of EG between 24 and 48 hours before her death? Yes.

So you would look at the amount of EG in the blood? Yes.

So you should be able to backtrack to the time of the ingestion? Yes.

The half-life of EG in the blood would be a better indicator than the stomach contents? Yes.

As you are sitting here, you wrote the report without looking at that? I relied on several items, the crystals and the distended stomach were more important to me.

One would assume 15-25 hours the EG would be gone from her bloodstream? Yes.

That would make the time frame about 1am on the 2nd and 2am on 12/3? Yes.

Then if the ingestion was 1am on the 2nd then you wouldn't expect it to show in her blood when she died. Yes.

Denton doesn't remember using the half-life in his opinion.

When would crystal begin to show in the body? 24 hours.

The larger the dose the faster the poisoning? Yes.
The smaller dose, the person may not even reach stage 3? Yes.

Why would a low dose be more indicative of a homicide? So the person wouldn't be aware they were being poisoning.

If a killer didn't want to be detected giving the poisoning then, yes it makes sense to give a lower dose.

Mark said Julie was sound asleep on the 3rd? Yes.
She was on her back according to Dillard's letter? Yes.

In fact her breathing was improved, correct? Yes.

Let's assume Mark gave her a low dose of EG the night of 12/1, another 2 on the 2nd in the morning and evening, and she was improving that Mark panicked and suffocated her. There is nothing inconsistent with that scenario in the autopsy report.

Trial Moment of the Day

Jambois is laying out the prosecution scenario of Julie's death. Here, he has to call his case "hypothetical." As he goes along, Dr. Denton has been agreeing. Mark Jensen give a questioning look at his lawyer, and the doctor gives a nice smile as he finishes.


Your testimony is that the hemorrhaging couldn't happen in the way Dillard described? That's correct it’s post mortem from lying down and dying for EG poisoning.

You also testified that the arm position could not have caused the injury? Correct.

Mark described Julie as being awake on the 3rd before the kids went to school? Yes.

It was later in the morning that she was sleeping? Yes.

There is some suggestion you didn't have some information available to you? You have the criminal complaint don't you? Yes.

Albee is asking if he considered the affair in this case? Yes, part of being in a suicidal state is being in a helpless state, with losing custody, etc.

How many suicides do you see? One a week for past 11 years.
Are marital problems a common reason? Yes
Do you get police reports? Yes

Discussion of harassment in police report. He remembers photos, not phone calls.

Dr. Denton read hundreds and hundreds of pages when he wrote his report? Yes

Was your memory fresher then? Yes

Would Aaron Dillard's character something you would use to assess the witness' credibility? Yes

Would the person being released from jail for testimony a consideration? Yes

Is Denton aware of Dr. Lavin's testimony? Did she share Dr. Long's opinion that it was suicide based on the large amount of ethylene glycol in her stomach? It became moot.

Is there a risk in jumping to conclusions? Objection

Do you think you should go into a case with an open mind? Yes

Albee asks about liquid Benadryl.

Mercury fulminate... he asks... objection...

Judge says it's argumentative.

Albee done!


Did you receive Dr. Borman's medical records on Mark Jensen? No I did not.

Objection! Mr. Albee is into his whine and cheese phase!

Jambois again gets Denton to agree that Julie probably had multiple doses of EG.


Albee is pounding the residual EG in a glass could account for what would appear as multiple doses.

Judge tells jury they may get the case on Monday, but no promises!

I'm betting Wednesday!

Also always, many thanks to ritanita for coming to the rescue while I was experiencing system problems!