Monday, January 7, 2008

Mark Jensen Murder Trial Day One

January 7, 2008
Opening statements were delivered today in the Mark D. Jensen murder trial held in Elkhorn, Wisconson. Jensen is on trial for the 1998 poisoning death of his wife, Julie. Although Special Prosecutor Robert Jambois's delivery was more conversational than passionate, he presented ten years of facts without once looking at any notes. Defense attorney Craig Albee wasted no time in getting to the point of trashing the victim's character. Albee is going to have a tough sell, trying to convince this jury that a supposedly "depressed" Julie Jensen committed suicide and left her children that she absolutely adored, just to frame her husband for murder. I don't even know much about this case and that whole trash the victim package doesn't sell well with me.

Pathologist Dr. Chamdelis was the prosecution's first witness who performed the autopsy and prepared the initial report where he stated he could not find a cause of death. Further investigation into Julie Jensen's death was performed by the County coroner, Dr. Maureen Lavin who made the final determination as to cause of death. Under intense cross examination, Dr. Chamdelis did no waver in his testimony on the stand.

The most entertaining part of the trial coverage today was the camera operators. These guys obviously have not been through trial coverage 101 because they kept the sound and the video on long after it was appropriate. The courthouse itself had it's own emergency with everyone evacuating to the basement due to a tornado warning. During the emergency, the camera feed was left on in the courtroom for over an hour, giving everyone a nice view of an empty courtroom, tape just spinning away. One could hear the faint hint of gale force winds whooshing around in the background.

This promises to be an interesting case to follow. I'm wondering how long it will take for the film crew to get up to speed on how to operate the sound and audio equipment.

Special thanks to donchais who contributed to this entry.