Mother Arrested in Deaths of Jensen Boys Left in Vehicle
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Heather Jensen, the mother of two boys, William Jensen, 2, and Tyler Jensen, 4, who died from hyperthermia, was arrested Wednesday afternoon in North Fort Myers, Florida.
"All I can really say at this point is that it was a horrible, horrible tragedy. It was not an intentional killing. I filed the charges that I think are appropriate and we will take it from there," said Mesa County District Attorney Pete Hautzinger.
Jensen is charged with five different counts. Two counts of Child Abuse Resulting in Death, two counts of Criminally Negligent Homicide, and one count of False Reporting to Authorities.
"Frankly to file a charge of first-degree murder, I'd have to believe that there was evidence of premeditation, planning, or intent, and there's really no evidence of that. My ethical duty is to file the charges I believe I can prove beyond a reasonable doubt and criminally negligent child abuse resulting in death is what I believe can be proven," said Hautzinger.
Child Abuse Resulting in Death is a class 3 Felony, which could leave Jensen facing many years in prison.
"It could go as high as 24 years. At the same time, it's not a crime of violence. It's not one of the charges that would require a judge to send her to prison. If she goes to trial and she's convicted then the judge is still going to have discretion to do anything from probation to prison," said Hautzinger.
Jensen is in Florida with a bond of $150,000. Officials say what happens next is up to Jensen.
"She can waive her right to contest extradition and agree to come back here voluntarily, or she can choose to contest it, and that can take many weeks, if not months, to get her back here. The ball's kind of in her court there," said Hautzinger.