On the second day of his second trial, the jury watched the first 70 minutes of the five-and-a-half hour interview Michael Blagg conducted with investigators not long after he called 911 and said his wife and daughter were missing.
Michael Blagg is charged with first-degree murder in the Nov. 13, 2001 death and disappearance of his wife, Jennifer Blagg. Prosecutors say he killed the 34-year-old while she was sleeping and threw her body into the dumpster at his office.
The defense says a child predator killed Jennifer Blagg and kidnapped Abby, and that the entire investigation has been compromised by a belief that it's "always the husband."
Jennifer Blagg’s body was found in the Mesa County landfill in June 2002. Michael Blagg was arrested two days later and found guilty in his wife’s death in 2004.
That conviction has since been thrown out after a juror was caught lying on her questionnaire. Now, Michael Blagg is being retried in Jefferson County, where the case was moved because of its notoriety on the Western Slope. Opening statements were on Monday.
Abby Blagg, who was also reported missing on Nov. 13, 2001, still hasn’t been found.
RELATED | Five stories of Nov. 13, 2001
The prosecution intends to show Michael Blagg's full five-and-a-half hour interview, which is grainy and difficult to hear at times. The jury was given a full transcript to follow along with.
In the video, Michael Blagg is seen wearing a sweater and jacket, and has dark hair.
Seventeen years later, Michael Blagg’s hair has gone grey. He sat in the courtroom wearing a dark suit with his head hunched down as jurors watched him tell investigators about the day his life changed forever.
Mesa County Sgt. Wayne Weyler was one of the investigators who helped conduct the interview. He took the witness stand just before the video was introduced.
In the video, Weyler is heard asking Blagg about any potential marital troubles — something the then-38-year-old disputed.
“Very strong,” Blagg said. “We have a wonderful marriage.”
He later echoed that statement almost verbatim, saying “we have a very strong marriage and it’s wonderful.”
Blagg said the morning of Nov. 13, 2001, he woke up at 5:30 a.m, as he typically does. His wife and daughter were still asleep, as they typically were at that time of day.
He said when he closed the door to Abby’s bedroom, she was still there.
Blagg says he then drove to work at Ametek-Dixon, and made his morning phone call to his wife a short time later.
“I hadn’t heard her voice and just wanted to call and see how she’s doing at that point,” Blagg said. “I also wanted to say hi and also make sure they woke up at 6:30 and were moving toward getting to school.”
As the morning went on, Blagg said he called a couple more times, but no one answered. He said he was concerned enough to call Jennifer Blagg’s cellphone and to leave a message there — something he claims she didn’t like.
Blagg said he called at around 3 p.m. and then left work at around 4 p.m.
He told Weyler when he got home, he tried to sneak inside and put some Christmas presents in the closet. He said he took off his coat, and that’s when he noticed that the door was ajar.
Blagg said he looked down the hall and noticed a jewelry box had been thrown on the floor of his wife’s room, and that he saw a pool of blood on the bed when he stepped inside.
Blagg told Weyler that he then called 911. It wasn’t until the operator asked him to that he checked Abby’s room and noticed the clothes she set out for school were still out, clearly unworn.
He didn’t check to see if the minivan was in the garage until the dispatcher asked him to.
The dispatcher told him to take deep breaths and go outside. Eventually, he went to the front of the house and waited for deputies to arrive.
Blagg said the family kept to themselves and didn’t have any trouble with anyone. The last night he say Jennifer and Abby alive, Michael Blagg said he watched Monday Night Football and then went to bed at 10 p.m.
He admitted to having guns in the house — but that they weren’t loaded — , and said he believed Jennifer and Abby may have been targeted because of his wife’s jewelry.
“I don’t know why anyone would want to hurt anyone in my family,” Blagg said. “I can’t imagine anything that would cause that. I hate to think that someone would hurt for material things, but Jennifer does have a lot of jewelry and she wears it.”
He told Weyler he wasn’t optimistic about what his daughter’s fate.
“Abby was a beautiful little girl, a wonderful energetic little girl … there’s some scary thoughts going in my mind about what could be happening and what’s happening to her,” he said.
“There are sick people in this world and honestly I wouldn’t let my mind go to these things.”
The prosecution will continue to play Michael Blagg’s video testimony on Thursday. We will post updates to 9NEWS and 9NEWS.com during breaks.