Hyrum Man Sentenced for Murder, Rape

Hyrum Man Sentenced for Murder, Rape

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BRIGHAM CITY, Utah (AP) -- Hyrum karate instructor Mark Jensen has been sentenced to two consecutive terms of five years to life for the slaying of 17-year-old Jammie Richards and the rape of a 16-year-old Box Elder County girl.

Jensen, 39, and his lawyers argued Tuesday that his yearlong addiction to methamphetamine was the main cause of his criminal activity.

Jensen pleaded guilty in July to first-degree felony murder and rape charges in which charges stemming from the alleged sexual assaults on two other Box Elder County girls.

Jensen apologized to the victims' families.

"I can't say anything to them that's going to make a difference," he told 1st District Judge Ben Hadfield. "I just made choices I made in my life and I ended up here where I am right now. I'm sorry."

Members of Richards' family addressed the court and urged that he never be released.

Jammie Richards' uncle Gary said, "He has no right to live ... I hope he's never released."

The girl's aunt, Michelle Richards, called Jensen "an evil man with no soul," and she told him, "An animal like you doesn't deserve to get out of his cage and hurt another human being."

Richards was shot in the head. Her body was found Oct. 10 near a church parking lot just west of Fielding. Police believe Jensen shot Richards because he thought she was an undercover narcotics informant.

Hadfield said he would recommend to the parole board that Jensen never be released from prison.

"I believe that Mr. Jensen has forfeited the privilege to ever walk the streets of our country," Hadfield said.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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