- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 10, 2003

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The couple charged with kidnapping their cancer-stricken son from Utah to avoid court-ordered chemotherapy treatments surrendered yesterday at the state courthouse.

Daren and Barbara Jensen, who fled to Idaho after a juvenile-court judge ordered them to get the treatment for the 12-year-old boy, did not bring the boy with them. It was not immediately clear where he was.

The Jensens had agreed Friday to take their son, Parker, to a pediatric oncologist of their choice this week, and to follow the treatment the doctor recommends. Under the agreement, the boy would remain in his parents’ custody.

The couple asked Salt Lake County prosecutors to drop the first-degree felony charges against them, but the prosecutors demanded that the couple surrender and take a plea bargain.

Attorneys met Monday to discuss a compromise, but Kent Morgan, spokesman for the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office, would not provide details of the talks.

In May, a doctor at Primary Children’s Medical Center found that Parker had Ewing’s sarcoma, a deadly cancer. The doctor wanted to start the boy on chemotherapy.

The Jensens asked for more tests, saying they were worried about the severe side effects of the treatment.

After meeting with the family five times, the doctor called the Division of Child and Family Services to make a medical-neglect claim because they refused chemotherapy.

The Jensens have accused the hospital of hampering their attempts to get an unbiased second opinion.

Ignoring Juvenile Court Judge Robert Yeates’ order to place Parker in state custody to undergo chemotherapy, the couple took their family to Pocatello, Idaho, where Barbara Jensen’s parents live.

Prosecutors filed the kidnapping charges Aug. 15.

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