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UPDATE: State appeals Jensen's overturned conviction

UPDATED Friday, February 21, 2014 --- 9:58 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state will appeal a federal judge's decision to overturn a Wisconsin man's conviction for killing his wife with poison.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice on Friday filed a notice of appeal in the Mark Jensen case with the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Federal Judge William Griesbach ruled in December that Jensen was improperly tried 15 years ago for the death of his wife, Julie Jensen, because he couldn't confront her about a letter she wrote implicating him as a primary suspect in the event of her death.

The case sparked a legal debate over whether the letter and her statements to others could be used in court. A county judge ultimately decided the letter was admissible. A jury convicted Jensen in 2008 and he was sentenced to life in prison.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Friday, December 20, 2013 --- 4:40 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The brother of a Wisconsin woman killed 15 years ago with antifreeze says he was shocked that a judge overturned her husband's conviction in the case.

A federal judge decided Wednesday that Mark Jensen was improperly tried in 2008 because he couldn't confront his dead wife, Julie Jensen.

The decision centered on a letter that Julie Jensen had slipped to her Pleasant Prairie neighbor because she was suspicious her husband was trying to kill her.

She died in 1998. The case was slowed by a legal debate over whether the letter and her statements to others could be used in court.

Paul Griffin, of Kenosha, told The Associated Press Friday that if Jensen is tried again, he's certain the other evidence will convince a jury to convict him again.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, December 19, 2013 --- 11:05 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A federal judge has overturned a Wisconsin man's conviction for first-degree intentional homicide in the poisoning death of his wife.

The Kenosha News says Chief U.S. District Judge William Griesbach ordered that Mark Jensen be released from prison within 90 days.

Jensen was convicted of killing his wife, Julie Jensen, with antifreeze in a highly-publicized Kenosha County trial in 2008.

He appealed, saying the state's use of his wife's note to a neighbor violated his constitutional right to confront a witness. The note said Julie Jensen suspected her husband would kill her and that if anything happened the neighbors should give her letter to police.

Jensen appealed his conviction first in state court and then at the federal level. The state can still decide whether to retry the case.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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Updated Friday --- February 22, 2008 -- 1:10pm

Jensen sentencing next Wednesday

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) -- The man convicted of killing his wife by poisoning and suffocating her will be sentenced next week in Kenosha County.

The first-degree intentional homicide carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

But, Judge Bruce Schroeder will tell Mark Jensen next Wednesday whether the convicted killer will ever be eligible for parole.

A Walworth County jury returned a guilty verdict against Jensen Thursday. Jurors rejected the defense claim that 40-year-old Julie Jensen killed herself and tried to frame her husband.

Julie Jensen was found dead December 3rd of 1998.

The 7-week trial was held in Walworth County because of pretrial publicity in Kenosha County.

AP

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Updated Thursday --- February 21, 2008 -- 5:20pm

Mark Jensen found guilty in 1998 death of wife

ELKHORN, Wis. (AP) -- A Kenosha man has been found guilty of using antifreeze to poison his wife, who left a note pointing the finger at him if she died.

A jury has found Mark Jensen guilty of first-degree murder in the 1998 death of 40-year-old Julie Jensen. He faces a maximum penalty of life in prison without parole.

Prosecutor Robert Jambois has said Jensen plotted to kill his wife. He says Jensen searched the Internet for information on antifreeze, gave his wife sleeping pills and made her drink juice spiked with the toxic chemical.

Jambois claims when her health appeared to improve, Mark Jensen pushed her face in a pillow and suffocated her.

Defense attorney Craig Albee claimed unsuccessfully that Julie Jensen committed suicide and framed her husband.

AP


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