Heather Jensen pleads not guilty

By: Andie Adams & Christy Dimond Email
By: Andie Adams & Christy Dimond Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- The mother charged in the death of her two sons says she's not guilty.

Heather Jensen entered the not guilty plea in a Mesa County courtroom Thursday morning. She has decided not to accept the plea agreement offered by prosecutors.

The details of that deal were not made public, though the victims' grandfather, Robert Mathena, said he was familiar with the deal and was surprised Jensen didn't take it, saying the consequences she faces now are much higher than what was offered in the agreement.

Now, Jensen's case will go to trial, which will start Oct. 28 and last for two weeks.

Mesa County District Attorney Pete Hautzinger said he wouldn't be surprised if the defense files a motion to change the location of the trial, given the high-profile manner of the case. But, he said he highly doubts a change in venue would go through.

"My experience in 25 years is no matter how high profile a case is, if we use questionnaires and are careful in our jury selection, it's not a problem finding a fair and impartial jury," Hautzinger said.

Jensen was arrested in January on charges of child abuse resulting in death, criminally negligent homicide and false reporting to authorities.

Her two young sons, William and Tyler dyed of hyperthermia after being left in her 4Runner on the Grand Mesa last November.

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