Michael Blagg retrial hearing starts

By: Sara Zendehnam Email
By: Sara Zendehnam Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. 10 years after Michael Blagg was found guilty and convicted of murdering his wife Jennifer he's back in a Mesa County court under Judge David Bottger in a retrial hearing.

This is the second time since the end of the trial in 2004 that a motion for a new trial has been presented to the court. The first time being in 2010 and both situations surround one juror.

Marilyn Charlesworth is the woman at the center of this hearing.

The defense says she didn't disclose that she was a victim of domestic violence at the start of the 2004 trial, but the prosecution argues she lied when she said she's a survivor of abuse.

Monday's hearing started with exhibits of recorded videos where Charlesworth admitted she has never been physically abused by anyone she's been in a relationship with.

Defense Attorney Tina Fang didn't let her off the hook. She said in the 1990's Charlesworth told a judge under oath one of her two ex-husbands beat her and threatened to kill her and she got a restraining order against both of them citing abuse issues.

The uproar began when Charlesworth spoke out last year at a City Council meeting protesting against former City Council member Rick Brainard saying she suffered through domestic violence for 10 years.

In an interview with Assistant District Attorney Rich Tuttle, Charlesworth said, "I lied at the Brainard speech i was just making a point."

Blagg's former Defense Attorney David Eisner was a witness who took the stand today and tensions were high during a cross examination between him and Tuttle. Judge Bottger had to intervene at one point telling the two men to respect one another.

He's being held at the Mesa County Jail in a maximum security facility because he's a convicted murderer.

The hearing is scheduled to go until Wednesday.

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