Jury Finds Mark Jensen Guilty
A jury has found Mark Jensen guilty of first-degree intentional homicide in the death of his former wife, Julie Jensen.
He faces a maximum penalty of life in prison without parole.
Jurors deliberated more than 14 hours on Tuesday, 9½ hours on Wednesday, and nearly eight hours on Thursday before deciding Mark Jensen's fate.
At the start of deliberations, five jurors thought Mark Jensen was guilty, five were undecided and two thought he was not guilty, 12 News reported.
After the hearing, Mark Jensen was led quietly out of the side of the courtroom by bailiffs. He will be taken to the Kenosha County Jail to be processed before being taken to Dodge County Jail.
Julie Jensen's four brothers spoke at a news conference afterward, thanking the special prosecutor for his passion for the truth. They thanked jurors, law enforcement agents and witnesses who testified against Mark Jensen.
"The witnesses had to endure hardship and muster a lot of courage to come forward," Julie's brother, Michael Griffin, said, adding that he hoped the case would give hope to other victims of domestic violence.
"We can go forward, and this, for me personally, provides some closure and that we can go forward in a positive way, Julie's brother Paul Griffin, said.
After the reading of the verdict, the judge also thanked the jurors for their time and efforts.
Julie Jensen, 40, was found dead in her Pleasant Prairie home on Dec. 3, 1998, after being sick for a few days before.
Throughout the deliberations, jurors asked to see several pieces of evidence.
At about 2:30 p.m. Thursday, jurors asked for the statements of Ted Wojt. Wojt is the neighbor who Julie Jensen gave her letter to for the police in the event of her death. The judge declined that request because Wojt's statements were never introduced into evidence.
The letter implicates Mark Jensen if she were harmed.
"I pray that I am wrong and nothing happens, but I am suspicious of Mark's suspicious behaviors and fear for my early demise," Julie Jensen wrote in the letter.
The defense counters that Julie Jensen was depressed and committed suicide, and that she left the letter to frame her husband.
Jurors also asked for police photos from the scene the day she was found dead, the Jensen family computer's Internet history and 1991 divorce papers that were never acted upon.
Jurors heard from 62 witnesses during six weeks of testimony.
In closing arguments Monday, prosecutor Robert Jambois said Mark Jensen plotted to kill his wife, doing Internet searches on ethylene glycol -- commonly used as antifreeze -- and then giving her sleeping pills and making her drink juice he had spiked. When her health appeared to improve, he pushed her face in a pillow and suffocated her, Jambois claimed.
Jensen's lawyer, Craig Albee, has called witnesses who testified that Julie Jensen was depressed and likely killed herself. Albee claims she framed her husband, who had been cheating on her.
Mark Jensen's former co-worker testified that Jensen told him before his wife died that he wanted to poison her. Two inmates also testified that Jensen confessed to them, and friends testified that Julie Jensen said she was suspicious of her husband. The case largely relied on Julie Jensen's statements and letter until the three of them were found or came forward last year.
Albee said the prosecution's case relied on questionable inmates, a poison expert who misjudged the amount of antifreeze in Julie Jensen's stomach and witnesses whose memories had faded or had been tainted after nearly a decade.
After the verdict, Albee indicated he was disappointed in the outcome, 12 New reporter Colleen Henry said. All along Albee has indicated there will be an appeal.