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For week ended October 24, 1999 Posted 31 Oct 1999

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Convicted Arsonist Woos Ex-Lover

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 of Appeals.

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information