Michael Blagg granted retrial

By: Amy Lipman Email
By: Amy Lipman Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Ten years after convicted murderer Michael Blagg was sentenced to life in prison for killing his wife Jennifer, he'll be heading back to the courtroom.

Judge David Bottger granted Blagg's motion for a retrial after he decided juror Marilyn Charlesworth didn't convey the truth about her experiences with domestic violence on a juror questionnaire.

Cathy Mortensen, Charlesworth's daughter-in-law, said she was surprised by the decision. She said she still believes Marilyn didn't fully understand the definition of domestic violence when she filled out that questionnaire and that Charlesworth went into the trial without bias.

"I don't think she's ever really told me that she thought that he was guilty from day one," Mortensen said. I really do believe she went into it with a level head."

District Attorney Pete Hautzinger said he also believes Michael Blagg got a fair trial.

"The issues with this juror really didn't have anything to do with guilt or innocence," Hautzinger said. "They have to do with a juror not being honest."

However, case law states if a juror lies during selection about something relevant to the trial, the defense can get a new trial.

The District Attorney's office could appeal the motion. Hautzinger said the office has to discuss it with the Attorney General first. That entire process would take time and he said he'd rather get the retrial going sooner rather than later.

"if we have to give him another trial we will do everything in our power to make sure he's convicted again," he said.

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