- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 11, 2014

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) - A Mesa County man convicted of killing his wife is getting a new trial because a juror lied about having experienced domestic violence.

On Wednesday, a judge ordered that Michael Blagg will be re-tried for the 2001 death of his wife, Jennifer, The (Grand Junction) Daily Sentinel reported (https://bit.ly/1ioY3nV ).

Mesa County Chief Judge David Bottger found that a member of Blagg’s jury in 2004 deliberately misrepresented her background and had an “agenda” to sit in judgment of Blagg.

The juror said she’d forgotten about past instances of domestic violence when she filled out the questionnaire. The judge didn’t buy the claim he called “unbelievable.”

“In general, she has no credibility in the court’s eyes,” Bottger wrote in a scathing nine-page order Wednesday.

Blagg, 51, is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole for his conviction in the November 2001 murder of his wife, Jennifer, at the family’s Redlands home.

Their daughter, Abby, 6, was reported missing and is presumed dead. No charges were filed in connection with her disappearance. After 23 days of testimony, a Mesa County jury in April 2004 convicted Blagg of first-degree murder after deliberation and several lesser counts.

Blagg’s lawyers started pursuing the juror’s questionnaire after she gave public remarks on domestic violence in Grand Junction last year. She said she was a victim of domestic violence for 10 years.

District Attorney Pete Hautzinger told the newspaper that the state hasn’t decided whether to appeal the order. A new trial date has not been set.

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Information from: The Daily Sentinel, https://www.gjsentinel.com

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