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Testimony continues in Hartford murder trial


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Testimony continues in Hartford murder trial

By Michele Fiore. CREATED Aug 14, 2014

WEST BEND - Shocking details were revealed in a Washington County courtroom Thursday. A young musician, strangled to death in her Hartford home, was also sexually assaulted.  

Jessie Blodgett's parents walked out of court at one point, the testimony was simply too much to take. A detective took the stand. He talked about Daniel Bartelt, the 20 year old man accused of killing their daughter.  

Detective Richard Thickens first spoke with Bartelt the day after Jessie Blodgett died.
“There were a number of times, as he was speaking about Jessie that he appeared he was gulping and making sniffling noises as if he was crying. I noted that I did not see him shed a tear," said Thickens.

Bartelt told police he and Jessie were physically intimate, but they never had sex.  But he said he had not seen her in about a week.

“So he denied being at Jessie’s house on July 15th, 2013?  He did," said Thickens.

That's the day Jessie's mom found her daughter strangled to death in her bed. Initially, police did not believe Jessie was sexually assaulted.  But it turned out, they were wrong.

“And did you potentially later receive some evidence that there may have been a sexual assault? After items were submitted to the state crime lab, yes, about the end of the week," said Thickens.

Bartelt told police he was at the park the day Jessie died.

“He indicated after driving around, he arrived at Woodlawn Park approximately 10am," said Thickens.

So police searched the park.  They found a cereal box in a trash can. It contained various ropes, anti-septic wipes, a Sponge Bob towel, and a unique kind of tape.  Police later found the same kind of tape in the defendant's basement.

“Based upon your experience, was it also an unusual mixture of materials to be located in a cereal box?" asked Washington County District Attorney Mark Bensen.  "Very much,” replied. Thickens.

More medical experts will take the stand Friday and prosecutors could wrap up their side of the case.

Michele Fiore

Michele Fiore

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Michele Fiore joined TODAY’S TMJ4 in 2013 after spending two years as a part-time reporter/anchor for our sister station, Newsradio 620 WTMJ.