Mom to stand trial in death of 21-pound teen

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Associated Press

Posted on May 1, 2014 at 1:07 PM

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — A judge says a North Dakota woman will stand trial for murder after her 13-year-old son died weighing just 21 pounds.

Jessica Jensen's attorney argued at a preliminary hearing Thursday that the teenager died of an untreated disease, not deliberate starvation.

Judge Gary Lee said that argument was a matter of semantics and that the state had more than met the burden of proof to try the 35-year-old mother.

Detective Laura Forbes testified Thursday that Jensen's mother believed Jensen did not want her son. Forbes said Jensen told him she had previously locked her son in a room in her home. Forbes said the room had boarded up windows, was filled with trash and smelled like urine and feces.

A pre-trial conference is set for September.

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