It was one of the strangest stories of 2015: The arrest of Julieane Jablonski after Austin Essig, her nineteen-year-old son, jumped out a window, allegedly under the influence of a marijuana brownie that Jablonski provided.
Now, a jury has ruled on Jablonski's case — and while she reportedly avoided the most serious punishment she could have faced, she may still serve jail time.
As we've reported, the original incident took place on April 14, 2015, when, according to Fort Collins Police Services, officers were dispatched to 1050 Hobbit Street.
The address is captured in the following interactive graphic. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View on Google Maps."
Upon their arrival, they found Essig on the ground beneath his apartment, unit #C23.
He was suffering from what were referred to as non-life-threatening injuries, but they were certainly serious ones. He was said to have shattered his hip and fractured his wrist in the fall.
A FCPS release issued six days after the fact, on 4/20, went on to say that "police are investigating whether Essig ingested edible marijuana prior to jumping out the window."
Even if he did, why was this a police matter? For our original post, we put that question to FCPS spokesman Sergeant Dean Cunningham.
His reply: "The investigation is to see if anyone is criminally culpable in the incident."
Then, on April 23, the Fort Collins cops announced the arrest of Jablonski on suspicion of "tampering with a witness and providing marijuana to an underage person."
Its announcement read in part:
Through the investigation Fort Collins Police learned that Austin Essig...consumed one dose of an edible marijuana brownie. He had not consumed any other substance prior to or after consuming the brownie. After a short period of time he began feeling the effects of the brownie and started acting strangely. According to witnesses, Essig ran toward the living room window and jumped out of it without hesitation. The fall three stories seriously injured Essig. It was determined through the investigation that Julieane Jablonski, Essig’s mother, provided the edible marijuana brownie consumed by Austin Essig.
The remainder of the marijuana edible brownie was collected and sent for testing to determine THC levels and to confirm if those levels correspond with the label. Those tests are pending.
In regard to the tampering beef, the Fort Collins Coloradoan notes that Jablonski was accused of asking Essig's roommate to lie about how he got the brownie.
Prosecutors certainly put a lot of effort into gaining a conviction: Jablonski's trial lasted for two days, kicking off Monday and running through late Tuesday afternoon, with the jury rendering its decision yesterday morning, the Coloradoan points out.
The verdict? Jablonski was cleared of witness-tampering, a felony that can lead straight to prison. But she was found guilty of supplying marijuana to someone younger than 21 — and although the penalty she may receive when she learns her fate on June 1 could be as light as probation, she could also get up to eighteen months in jail.
This last sentence seems unlikely — but that word pretty much describes everything that's happened in this case so far.
Here's a larger look at Jablonski's booking photo.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!