Jensens Want Kidnapping Charges Dropped

Jensens Want Kidnapping Charges Dropped

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The parents charged with kidnapping their cancer-stricken 12-year-old son from Utah to avoid court-ordered chemotherapy treatments want the first-degree felony charges against them dropped.

Salt Lake County prosecutors, however, want Daren and Barbara Jensen to surrender and take a plea bargain.

Attorneys met Monday to discuss a compromise, said Kent Morgan, spokesman for the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office. Those conversations are ongoing and a resolution is expected soon, he said. He would not provide details of the talks.

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

The Jensens asked for more medical 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 alleged Primary Children's hampered 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, where Barbara Jensen's parents live. They are still in Idaho.

Prosecutors filed the kidnapping charges Aug. 15. Those warrants were activated only in Utah, while state officials negotiated with the family on the juvenile court case.

The family and state officials agreed Friday that Parker would start medical tests again sometime this week with a board-certified pediatric oncologist in Boise. He will remain in his parents' custody.

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

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