Grand Junction, CO – Grandparents of 2-year-old William and 4-year-old Tyler Jensen are calling for justice in the deaths of the two young brothers, saying their mother deserves the electric chair.
Heather Jensen, 25, has been accused of negligently leaving her children in the backseat of her car with the heat on for 90 straight minutes. On November 27, Jensen parked and left the vehicle running with her sons inside, close to the Powderhorn Mountain ski resort in Grand Junction, Colorado. She then spent her time in truck parked nearby. The action led to the two boys suffering from extreme hyperthermia.
Jensen called 911 that night to say her 2-year-old son William was not breathing and had no pulse, and told the dispatcher Tyler was barely breathing. Jensen initially misled authorities by stating the boys had only been in the car for about 10 minutes while she was talking to friends. Later Jensen admitted it had been significantly longer but that she’d checked on them periodically.
Hyperthermia is caused by an elevated body temperature due to an inability to self-thermo regulate, which occurs when a body produces or absorbs more heat than it dissipates. Extreme temperature elevation then becomes a medical emergency requiring immediate treatment to prevent disability or death.
Children are especially sensitive and vulnerable to temperature changes. William was found dead at the scene while Tyler was flown to a Denver hospital. He died a week later. After an autopsy, the Mesa County coroner confirmed the deaths resulted from hyperthermia.
A reenactment test performed by the sheriff’s office showed the interior temperature of the vehicle could reach as high as 150 degrees with the heat on.
Jensen was arrested and charged in January with child abuse, criminally negligent homicide, and false reporting to authorities for the November deaths of her toddler sons. She has since been retained on a $150,000 bond.
When she appeared in court Wednesday, Jensen waived her right to a preliminary hearing. This action will allow her to consider the plea agreement recently posed by the prosecution.
Further details of the plea arrangement may be revealed in Jensen’s upcoming May 30 arraignment. But based on the information available, Jensen could potentially face 12 to 24 years in prison, imposed with a reduced charge of two counts of criminally negligent homicide. However relatives want to see the girl executed for the heat-stroke deaths of her children.
The victims’ grandparents, Robert and Diane Mathena, said the family would have liked to see Jensen executed. They state the girl was busy engaging in sex and drugs in a nearby truck while William and Tyler were suffering the onset of heat-stroke in her overheated SUV. Under the circumstances of the case and charges levied against Jensen, the death penalty was never going to be an option.
Widowed, Jensen lost her 26-year-old husband Eric, the father of the two boys, to a car accident in October, six weeks before William and Tyler died. At the time of her arrest, the young mother had been on probation for a domestic violence assault against her late husband.
Do you think Jensen should face the full brunt of the charges against her?
[Image via Shutterstock]