January 25, 2008
Posted: 10:57 AM ET
ELKHORN, Wisconsin - He may have been just another witness in the antifreeze murder trial, but to defendant Mark Jensen, this was the man his wife Julie Jensen had an affair with in 1991. We have heard in testimony that Mark never got over that affair and now in the courtroom he stares intently at Julie's ex-lover.
Jean Casarez is covering the Jensen trial for In Session.
The grey-haired man with glasses, Perry Tarica, sits in the witness chair. From my vantage point in the courtroom, Jensen seems to be fixated on Tarica, who admitted spending the weekend with Julie at the Jensen's home while Mark was out of town.
Tarica choked up as he described Julie as sweet and lovely. They met at work, started talking a lot and began to go to lunch. He said Julie told him her marriage was not good.
When Julie invited him over on a Friday night, Tarica said his intent was to go as a friend. But when Julie invited him into her and Mark's bedroom, he agreed.
He became emotional on the stand as he told the jury he loved Julie. Watch a video update
Defense attorney Craig Albee brought out a harassment citation Tarica had received from Kenosha Police after he sent a letter several months later to Julie via her sister-in-law. We didn't hear the letter, but it appeared to be one of friendship.
Why a citation? Mark and Julie had started receiving mysterious porno pictures and strange calls after the one-weekend affair ended. Police could only believe it was one person: Julie's friend and lover.
Those pictures have now come into this murder case by the prosecution as a "prior bad act" of the defendant's to show it was Mark who could never forgive Julie for her weekend. That continuing rage, they say, was one motive for her murder.
During a break in the middle of Tarica's testimony there was an awkward moment. Only a few people remained in the courtroom, including Jensen, accompanied by a sheriff's deputy, and Tarica. They looked at each other and looked away.
– Jean Casarez, In Session correspondent
Filed under: Trials
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