Summarized by Kent Larsen
Convicted Arsonist Woos Ex-Lover
Albuquerque NM Journal 23Oct99 D2
By Guillermo Contreras: Journal Staff Writer
Convicted arsonist Walter Gene Grassie, who was given a 15-year sentence
in federal prison for torching an LDS chapel in New Mexico, is still
writing to the woman who dumped him. Grassie burned the chapel and
vandalized several others after his former yodeling partner and lover,
Sharlene Jensen, dumped him and returned to her husband. Grassie blamed
the LDS Church for her decision.
The letters that Grassie has sent include packages with romance novels,
candy bars and love poems, all sent since he entered the federal
penitentiary, according to court records. He has also written to
Jensen's relatives claiming to have had sexual relations with thier
wives. Because of the letters, Federal Prosecutors have filed a motion
with U.S. District Judge C. LeRoy Hansen for a protective order to keep
Grassie from "harassing" the witnesses.
Grassie's attorney, Dick Winterbottom, says that the letters should not
be a problem, "The letters he's alleged to have been sending are not of
a threatening kind. They're plaintive, sad and from a man who's frankly
still suffering from a broken heart. Those things aren't repaired simply
by someone telling you to fix it."
Grassie recently appealed his conviction to the U.S. 10th Circuit Court