The central focus of Thursday morning’s testimony in the Jennifer Blagg murder trial was surveillance video from her husband’s employer on the day she died.
Darren Cisar, the IT manager for what was then Ametek-Dixson, explained building’s layout and reviewed photographs from the four surveillance cameras that captured snipets of Michael Blagg’s movements Nov. 13, 2001.
The Mesa County prosecutors allege Michael Blagg shot his wife in the early morning hours of that day and threw her body in a dumpster at his work. The defense alleges a child predator broke into the home through the back door while Michael Blagg was at work, killing his wife and kidnapping his 6-year-old daughter.
Abby Blagg has never been found.
Photos of Michael, Jennifer and Abby Blagg
Cisar told the jury that Michael Blagg first appeared on camera at the office shortly before 6 a.m. He appeared to be coming from a stairway that lead to the second floor, which means he entered the building some time before that from a door that didn’t have a camera.
Michael Blagg was in senior management at Ametek-Dixon, so he had keys to all 10 entrances while regular employees had key cards to enter a handful of doors.
Both the prosecution and the defense talked about the dumpster that allegedly held Jennifer Blagg’s body before it was transported to the Mesa County landfill where investigators found it in June 2002. Michael Blagg was convicted of his wife’s murder back in 2004, but that was overturned after the defense showed that a juror on that trial lied about being a victim of domestic violence.
Mesa County public defender Scott Troxell had Cisar repeatedly confirm that to get to the dumpster someone would have to climb a set of stairs.
“You can not just get to the dumpster by just pulling up,” Troxell said. “You would have to walk up four feet.”
That’s important because it means it would take more time for someone to dispose of a body that weighed about 140 pounds.
Cisar said he believes the surveillance video shows most of the night shift employees left around 3 a.m. It also shows employees starting to enter the building for the day shift around 5:18 a.m.
Troxell also had Cisar confirm that there were homes across the street from the company’s dumpster. The prosecution pushed back on how visible the dumpster was to those residents.
RELATED | Five stories of Nov. 13, 2001
More employees of Ametek-Dixon are expected to testify when the trial resumes at 1 p.m.