January 25, 2008

At Jensen trial, the other man takes the stand

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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PAT   January 25th, 2008 11:49 am ET

at what time did julie know about his affair?

Cheri   January 25th, 2008 11:59 am ET

I still think she framed her husband for her murder. She knew her marriage was over and was unable to accept the fact that he had another woman.

Brian   January 25th, 2008 12:07 pm ET

the adulterer always get what they deserve in the end.

Bob   January 25th, 2008 1:01 pm ET

Pat...Julie is the one who had the affair, so I assume she knew about it pretty quickly.

M   January 25th, 2008 1:04 pm ET

Pat, Julie was the one having the affair with Perry Tarica.

Emily Moritz   January 25th, 2008 1:37 pm ET

I have been watching the Wisc. trial since the beginning. When the officer testified yesterday I think it is very possible that Mrs. Jensen was the one making up the phone calls and that could be the reason nothing was recorded when the tap was in place. I think she was mentally ill and was looking for attention. I think many of the things point to that telling the neighbors, the teacher...if she was really in fear for her life why didn't she move out, she had family she could go to.
I do love the show and all the commentators.

NM   January 25th, 2008 1:44 pm ET

Did Julie work with this man or was he employed at the same company as Mark?

judy hood   January 25th, 2008 1:47 pm ET

So William Hurt dropped out of Hollywood, changed his name, went to law school, passed the bar and is now Jensen's lawyer.

Misty M   January 25th, 2008 1:58 pm ET

I find it very difficult to believe that Mark Jensen was telling all these people about wanting his wife to be dead, but Kelly never heard him talk about it? I think that that WOMAN was into it up to her eyebrows!

Jennie   January 25th, 2008 2:03 pm ET

Jensen's face was so different when he was looking at Tarica during his testimony. He has had that weird grin on his face through out, but it changed to a alert watch dog look while Tarica was on the stand. I wish you had put him on a split screen so we could have seen him the whole time.

Di Ann   January 25th, 2008 3:10 pm ET

I have been watching and listening to this case being that I am from Wisconsin it became more intriguing to me.
But I do believe the defense theory
Why wouldnt she have left-no financial woes, family support etc. it doesnt make sense she ran around to anybody that would listen that Mark was trying to poison her etc. It does appear to be a set up
As for all the "experts" opinions shifting gears I hope I die from natural causes
Now where were her brothers during all of this time-now they sit in a court room
unbelievable and the prosecutor stinks in "dirty laundry"

Du Mass   January 25th, 2008 3:25 pm ET

Well, since it was her affair, she probably knew about it at the time it occurred.

R. Davidson   January 26th, 2008 10:18 am ET

Mark and Kelly did not get married right away. I believe they waited four years.

rlee   January 26th, 2008 12:47 pm ET

My question is : I watched a little of the Jensen trial and saw Jensen's current wife on the witness stand testifying for the prosecution.

I thought a spouse could not testify against their spouse on trial for criminal offsenses.

Any Help?

Donna   January 26th, 2008 1:04 pm ET

It seems odd to me that Julie Jenson told the guy next door she was afraid to eat the food at home so she went and bought a sandwich. What were her children and Mark eating? Doesn't make sense to me.

Judy womack   January 26th, 2008 2:02 pm ET

The reason Kelly Jensen can be made to testify is because she wasn't married to Mark Jensen when she was having the affair with him so there is no spousal privelege for the period of time. The conversations she had with Mark while he was in the Kenosha County Jail were recorded. Both parties were warned before the conversations began,so they would have no right to expect privacy. When they continued the conversation it was the same as waiving there right to privacy.

Don   January 26th, 2008 5:23 pm ET

I've never broken the law unless you count speeding tickets... then I'm a hardened criminal... but if I ever do break the law, I want all of you who think Julie committed suicide by poisoning herself via antifreeze to frame her husband to be on my jury! Really, trust me... I didn't do it... :)

Carolyn   January 26th, 2008 7:37 pm ET

His current wife was able to testify because she received immunity from the state.

I haven't heard as of yet if this couple has children? Where are the two children from the marriage with Julie?

Pat   February 5th, 2008 2:38 pm ET

Come on guys. Julie didn't have an affair, she had a one night stand.

Susie   May 8th, 2011 5:20 pm ET

Pat.. it wasn't a one night stand.Julie was going to divorce Mark.She was remorseful that she had to end the affair. Mark tried ,,he cared for Julie.He asked her to go to counseling with him..It takes a low life person to bring a lover into the same bed that you share with your husband?

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