Michael Blagg found guilty of killing wife in 2001 in murder retrial

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GOLDEN, Colo. -- A Jefferson County jury found a Grand Junction man guilty of first-degree murder for killing his wife in Mesa County in 2001 on Thursday.

The jury began deliberating in the retrial of Michael Blagg on Monday. The trial was held in Jefferson County because of concerns about finding an impartial jury.

Blagg was later sentenced to life in prison without parole. He was also sentenced to three years and three months for his convictions on two counts of theft and three months for abuse of a corpse.

Blagg was convicted of first-degree murder in Jennifer Blagg's death in 2004.

But his conviction was overturned in 2014 after the judge learned a juror concealed her experience with domestic violence in order to serve on the jury.

Jennifer Blagg and their 6-year-old daughter Abby went missing in 2001. Jennifer Blagg's body was found in a landfill months later, but Abby's body was never found.

"Those in this room know the devastation that occurred November 2001," said Jennifer Blagg's mother, Marilyn Conway. "From that time to this, the loss of two children at one time -- nothing compares.

"This particular situation rearranges a family. Your attitude, your outlook, the way you live your life. ... Nothing is ever ever the same."

During closing arguments, prosecutors argued Blagg was addicted to pornography and his marriage was in crisis.

Attorneys said he shot his wife in the face while she slept, staged the scene to look like a break-in, wrapped her body in a tent and drove the family van to his workplace where he put her in the trash.

Prosecutors went over blood evidence in the vehicle and sightings of him at work.

The defense argued a pedophile is the real killer, claiming, “every aspect of the case is contaminated.”

The defense also argued Jennifer Blagg's body was not found with workplace trash.

Prosecutors denied the claim, saying the "defense assertions are wild conjecture."

Michael Blagg's sister said she and her family adamantly believe Michael is innocent.

"Our brother, Michael Blagg, is innocent," Claire Peterson said. "And we will not give up the fight until he’s found not guilty and we can bring him home."

Jennifer's Blagg's family disagrees.

Conway ended her statement to the court by saying, "I believe justice has been done."

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