PALISADE, Colo. (CBS4) – A mother accused of keeping her young sons locked in a heated SUV while she had sex with a man appeared in court on Monday.
Heather Jenson’s 2- and 4-yearold boys, William and Tyler, died from hyperthermia — when a body overheats.
Jensen was arrested at her mother’s home in Florida. She left the jail there last week and arrived in Mesa County on Sunday. She faced a judge for her first appearance Monday morning to hear the charges against her.
In November, Jensen called 911 saying her boys who were in the backseat of her SUV were gurgling and unresponsive.
“You’ve been charged with two counts of child abuse resulting in death. Each is a Class 3 felony. Each is punishable by four years to 32 years in prison,” the judge said.
Jensen also faces counts of criminally negligent homicide and false reporting to authorities after her story of what happened up on the Grand Mesa changed several times.
The arrest affidavit says Jensen was near Powderhorn Ski Area with a man for nearly 2 1/2 hours, leaving the boys in the car with the heat on for about an hour and locking them in for the last 45 minutes while she smoked marijuana and had sex with the man in his truck.
Jensen will be back in court later this week as the case moves into district court.
There was a temporary injunction to stop Jensen from cremating the boys. The family from William and Tyler’s father’s side wants to bury the children next to their father, who died in October in a car crash. The judge on Monday granted legal custody of their remains to their grandmother. They’ll have a service Thursday afternoon in Palisade.