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Gag Order Requested in Heather Jensen and Sons’ Case
Tue, 12 February, 2013
Heather Jensen of Grand Junction, Colorado, is facing some media heat and some severe legal consequences. She is being accused of negligent homicide “in the deaths of her young sons”. The 24 year old mother has been in the spotlight since the incident and community members had experiencing a heightening of emotions.
Apparently, last November Jensen reportedly left her 4 and 2 year old sons alone in her SUV. They were discovered, unconscious, and shortly after, both died. The young mother’s attorney has been reported to be fearful of a “lynch mob” mentality, and has requested that prosecutors, police and media be subjected to a gag order. Attorney Ed Nugent is asking the Mesa County District Judge to, abide by his request. A gag order basically requires silence and absolutely no commentary about the case by either side, with the only exceptions being, “comments regarding the date and time of future court dates and the general nature of such court appearance”.
Speculation has been tossed around regarding Jensen’s “sexual behavior”, possible drug abuse, and enduring the loss of her husband last October. Her attorney, Nugent, dismisses such speculation by stating that the death of Jensen’s husband is “immaterial and irrelevant” to the case at hand.
Due to such speculation, assumption and the aforementioned “lynch mob mentality” of the community, Nugent’s intent to request a gag order is strictly to protect Jensen’s right to a fair trial, which could likely become clouded by media outlets’ coverage and subsequent prejudice. Impartial jurors would be hard to come by, with intensification of media coverage in a county the size of Mesa County, Colorado. Nugent has also asked that the publicly available records (which in sum state, that Jensen was allegedly “smoking marijuana and having sex with a man” as her children overheated in her SUV) be sealed for the duration of the trial. At this stage of the case, it is hard to determine what effect, if any, a gag order would have on the fairness of a trial or the outcome of the case.
Shockley, Paul. “Lawyer Fears Lynch Mob for Jensen”. The Daily Sentinel. 6 Feb, 2013. <http://www.gjsentinel.com/news/articles/lawyer-fears-lynch-mob-for-jensen/>