Mark Jensen, 63, of Pleasant Prairie, was found guilty of first degree homicide on Wednesday in the killing of his wife, Julie, who was poisoned and smothered to death in 1998
At his first trial, Mark Jensen was found guilty of killing his wife in 2008
He won appeals against his conviction and faced a retrial
Julie Jensen’s body was found in 1998 at the Pleasant Prairie home the couple shared with their two sons
Defense said Julie was depressed and killed herself after framing Jensen
Prosecution said Jensen poisoned his wife with anti-freeze and made the death look like a suicide
Jensen was the prime suspect after police found a self-panned letter from Julie stating that her husband had been behaving suspiciously following a brief affair she’d had
She added a plea to authorities that her husband should be the first suspect if anything happens to her
While the letter was ruled out in but trials, jury at second retrial reached the same verdict from the first trial in 2008
Jensen faces life in prison without parole at a sentencing hearing in April
A man who was found guilty of poisoning his wife in 1998 was found guilty again by a jury in his in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during a retrial.
A Kenosha County jury found Mark Jensen, 63, guilty of first degree homicide on Wednesday in the killing of his wife, Julie Jensen, nearly 15 years after he was first found guilty.
He had been accused of poisoning the mother of his two children with antifreeze and smothering her in an effort to make her death look like a suicide so he could move his mistress into their home.
In 2008, Jensen was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, but he recently won appeals that set up a retrial in Kenosha County.
In April 2021, a judge overturned his conviction after the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled he deserved a retrial, and a letter his wife wrote incriminating him in the event something happened to her could not be used by the prosecution.
Jensen was the prime suspect in the 1998 murder of Julie Jensen after police found a self-panned letter from Julie stating that her husband had been acting suspiciously following a brief affair she’d had. She added a plea to authorities that Mark should be the first suspect if anything happens to her.
While the letter was not allowed into the court during the retrial, the jury still came to the same conclusion it did in 2008 after the three-and-a-half week trial.
Although Julie’s death was thought to be a suicide, the letters revealed her suspicions against her husband. She clearly was pleading with police that he should be investigated if she was harmed.
Special prosecutor Robert Jambois, who was at the Jensen home on the night of Julie’s murder, led the prosecution in the original trial. On Wednesday he read the victim’s letter that led investigators to her husband.
‘I pray I’m wrong and nothing happens. I’m suspicious of Mark’s suspicious behaviors,’ Jambois said reading the November 1998 letter.
‘If anything happens to me, he would be my first suspect.
‘Our relationship has deteriorated to the plight; superficial. I know he’s never forgiven me for the brief affair I had with that creep seven years ago.’
Prosecutors argued that Jensen killed his wife to make room for his mistress and that he searched the Internet for ways to make her death look like a suicide.
The prosecution case states that Mark Jensen poisoned his wife with anti-freeze, drugged her, and then killed her through asphyxiation inside their Pleasant Prairie home.
Jambois characterized Jensen as a ‘blabbermouth’ and commended the jury for its decision, adding that he was proud to have worked on both trials.
‘I didn’t know at that time it was going to take a third of my life to put Mark Jensen away. But it was worth it,’ Jambois told reporters. ‘And I would do it again if the opportunity or necessity arose.’
Following the verdict, Kenosha County Deputy District Attorney Carli McNeil said: ‘The defendant stole Julie away from her children, and her children away from her.’
Jensen’s defense opted not to speak with reporters after the retrial.
Police found Julie dead in her home in Pleasant Prairie, where she lived with husband Mark Jensen and their two sons.
Prosecutors said Jensen poisoned her with anti-freeze, drugged her, and then killed her through asphyxiation.
As the judge read the jury’s verdict on Wednesday, Jensen kept a straight face and reacted with little emotion.
in contrast it was quite emotional for Julie’s family, including brother Larry Griffin who said they wanted to make sure his sister’s killer remained behind bars.
‘We’re following through on Julie’s words, desperate words that she wrote on November 21st, 1998. If anything happens to me, he would be my first suspect,’ he told Fox 6, adding he hopes that Julie’s story could help victims of domestic abuse seek help.
Jambois said all the family wanted was Julie back and to tell their story, which was muddied when Jensen and the defense argued that she was suicidal and tried to frame him for murder.
‘The tragedy of Julie Jensen is she can’t escape gaslighting even in death, even after all this time,’ McNeill told reporters.
Jensen is scheduled to appear at a sentencing hearing on April 14. He faces life in prison without parole.