Crime

Erik Jensen, juvenile lifer, hangs onto hope "now more than ever"

Erik Jensen was seventeen when he got mixed up in the deadly domestic drama of Nate Ybanez, his best buddy. Ybanez is now serving a life sentence for the 1998 murder of his mother, Julie; Jensen is also serving life without parole for helping him -- although whether he was involved in the actual killing or just tried to aid his friend in covering up the crime has long been a matter of debate. Either way, both men are hoping that their chances of ever seeing the world outside prison walls may soon be a little less bleak.
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Alan Prendergast has been writing for Westword for over thirty years. He teaches journalism at Colorado College; his stories about the justice system, historic crimes, high-security prisons and death by misadventure have won numerous awards and appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies.
Contact: Alan Prendergast