Jensen Faces First Hearing, Grandmother Awarded Custody of Bodies
KREX News Room
MESA COUNTY, Colo. - After being arrested on Jan. 16 in Lee County, Fla., Heather Jensen made her way back to Mesa County on Feb. 3. She faced her first hearing in her criminal case via video through the Mesa County Jail Monday.
William Jensen, 2, and Tyler Jensen, 4, passed away from hyperthermia after allegedly being left in a heated vehicle for an extended amount of time under Jensen's care in Nov.
During the hearing, Judge Gretchen Larson told Jensen she is facing charges of child abuse resulting in death, negligent homicide and false reporting. Her bond has been set at $150,000.
Larson also advised Jensen that she is barred from having any contact with victims or witnesses in the case, as well as anyone under 18 years old.
In the second, civil hearing, Judge Thomas Deister granted Diane Mathena, the boys' grandmother, permanent custody of their bodies.
"It's going to bring some peace to the Mathenas. I think the community will be able to have some peace and be able to go by and spend some time at their grave site," said Greg Leavitt, the Mathena's civil attorney.
"It's been a long time coming. Now we can move on and start with the healing process," said Heather Aspy, a Mathena family friend.
"We will probably never be able to get back to normal again, but it's a process and we're going to survive it," said Robert Mathena, Diane's husband.
Diane and Robert have been fighting for Monday's verdict since gaining a temporary injunction on Dec. 6, barring Heather Jensen from cremating her sons.
"Thank God it's finally coming to an end. Thank God we get to bury the kids Thursday," said Robert.
The Mathenas plan on laying William and Tyler to rest next to their father, Eric Jensen, at the Palisade Cemetery.
Eric passed away in Oct. after rolling his vehicle in Garfield County.
"He loved those kids more than life itself. That's why we fought so bad for him," added Robert.
A service is planned for Thursday at 1 p.m. at the Palisade Christian Church. The Mathenas say the public is welcome to join them in saying goodbye to William and Tyler.
Jensen will be back in court Feb. 7, when her charges will officially be filed.