UPDATE: Bond set for man convicted in wife's death after poisoning

Mark Jensen

UPDATED Wednesday, January 6, 2016---3:11 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A judge has set a $1.2 million bond for a Wisconsin man once convicted in his wife's death after prosecutors said he poisoned her with antifreeze.

Mark Jensen was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison in 2008, but recently won appeals that set up a retrial in Kenosha County. It wasn't immediately clear whether he could afford to post bail.

His conviction was overturned by a federal judge, and an appeals court panel upheld the ruling last year. The decision said a note from his wife, Julie, implicating him in her death was improperly allowed into evidence.

The defense has said Julie Jensen was depressed and killed herself after framing her husband.

Prosecutors say Jensen killed his wife to make room for his mistress.

Copyright 2016: Associated Press


UPDATED Thursday, December 31, 2015---11:31 p.m.

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin man convicted of fatally poisoning his wife with antifreeze will be retried.

The state Department of Justice says it will not take Mark Jensen's case to the U.S. Supreme Court, setting up a retrial in Kenosha County. Jensen won an appeal that overturned his 2008 conviction, but has remained behind bars until the state decided how to proceed in the case.

The state Attorney General's office said Thursday prosecutors in Kenosha County will retry Jensen in the 1998 death of his wife, Julie, in Pleasant Prairie. Jensen is scheduled for a bond hearing in Kenosha County on Wednesday where he will ask for his release pending the retrial.

Jensen's attorney successfully argued that a letter Julie Jensen wrote before her death implicating her husband should not have been allowed as evidence.

Copyright 2015: Associated Press


UPDATED Wednesday, September 30, 2015---3:21 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Justice Department has asked a federal appellate panel to reconsider overturning the conviction of a man found guilty of fatally poisoning his wife.

A 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled earlier this month that a handwritten note from Mark Jensen's wife, Julie, saying he would be her first suspect if anything happened to her was improperly admitted into evidence. The panel found using the letter violated Jensen's right to face his accuser.

DOJ attorneys asked the appellate court Wednesday for a rehearing, arguing no U.S. Supreme Court case holds that such a note violates confrontation rights.

Julie Jensen was found dead in her Pleasant Prairie home in 1998. Mark Jensen was found guilty of homicide in 2008 and sentenced to life.

Copyright 2015: Associated Press


UPDATED Wednesday, September 9, 2015---9:08 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A federal appeals court has affirmed a lower court's decision to void the conviction of a Pleasant Prairie man accused of fatally poisoning his wife with antifreeze.

In a 2-1 decision Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court ruling that statements Julie Jensen made before her death should never have been admitted into evidence in Mark Jensen's 2008 trial. The majority agreed the use of her letter pointing the finger at her husband if she were to die violated his constitutional right to confront his accuser.

The state says Jensen killed his wife and made it look like suicide, while the defense says she killed herself and then framed her husband.

The ruling could lead to his release from prison.

Copyright 2015: Associated Press


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


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


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


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.



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.